The Basics of Poker



There are many rumors about the origins of poker, with some saying it was first played in Persia. However, the first known version of poker was probably in the seventeenth century in France. From the French word poque, the English word poker was derived. The game developed alongside the German game pochen and the Spanish game primero, and eventually made its way to the New World.

Betting options

Betting options for poker games vary depending on the game type. There are No Limit games, Pot Limit games, and cash games. No Limit games are similar to home games, with fewer players and a fixed betting limit. Players can choose to bet as little as $0.01 or as much as $500 depending on the stakes. Betting options for poker games also depend on the size of the blinds.

Starting hands

If you’ve ever played poker, you know that starting hands play an important role. During a poker tournament, the starting hands you select are the most important decision that you’ll make. Your selection of starting hands is based on your table position and the information you have about the dealer. Generally, you should use a starting hand range that keeps you out of trouble 90% of the time.


Showdowns are an important part of poker. Players in a cash game may show their cards without penalty, but in a tournament, showing your cards means you’re dead. This is why players generally don’t show their cards unless they’re sure that they’ll win. In some circumstances, however, showing your cards is essential in order to win.


Straights in poker are important to understand in a game where many players can have a winning hand. A straight is made up of five consecutive cards in the same suit. This can be a higher or lower straight, depending on the cards that start and end the straight. However, a single straight is not necessarily a good hand.

Five-card draw

One of the simplest poker variants is five-card draw, and it is often the first variant that new players learn. It is also the basis of video poker and is commonly played at home, although it is rarely seen at casinos or in tournaments.