The Basics of Poker



Poker is a card game for two or more players and is played with standard 52 cards (some games use multiple packs or add jokers). Each player places a wager equal to the amount of money in the pot prior to the hand being dealt. The goal is to make a high-ranking poker hand with your own five cards and the community cards. The highest poker hand wins.

Once the ante and pair plus wagers have been placed the dealer deals three cards face down to each player. Then the players decide whether to play their cards or fold them. The player with the button (seat to the left of the dealer) has the option to act first.

When it’s your turn to act you can choose to bet, call, raise or fold. You should always say your choice loudly and clearly to avoid giving other players information they can use against you.

Talking when it’s not your turn is also considered poor poker etiquette. It distracts other players and gives away information even if you don’t mean to.

The more you play and watch experienced players, the better your instincts will become. You should learn to read the game quickly and develop simple systems that you can apply. Don’t try to memorize a complicated strategy and expect to win; you’ll get much more value by making smart decisions based on probability, psychology and game theory. If you can’t bet, bluff.