A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a game of chance, but it’s also a game of smarts, mental toughness and attrition. Most games of poker involve players combining their private cards (pocket cards) with the community cards dealt to the table to form the highest value hand. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot.

To start playing poker you’ll need a deck of cards and a place to play. If you’re not familiar with poker, there are many books and websites dedicated to teaching the rules of the game. You’ll find everything from complete strategy guides to tips and tricks that can help you improve your game.

You’ll also need some poker chips. Typically, a white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue chip is worth twenty whites. At the beginning of each hand, each player “buys in” by placing a set amount of chips into the pot.

When your turn comes, you can either fold, call or raise. If you have a good hand, it’s best to call and put your money into the pot. If you have a weak hand, it’s better to fold. If you’re unsure what your hand is, say “hit” and the dealer will give you another card.

After a round of betting, new cards are dealt to the table. These are called the community cards and they’re available for everyone to combine with their private cards. The first three community cards are dealt face up and are known as the flop. The next two community cards are dealt face up on the turn, and the final card is dealt on the river.

The highest hand in poker is a Royal Flush (10-Jack-Queen-Ace of the same suit). There are other high hands, including Straights, Flushs, Three of a Kind, Four of a Kind, Full House, High Card, and a Pair.

In poker, a player bets on the strength of their hand and attempts to bluff other players into putting their money in the pot. This is known as bluffing and can be very effective. The best bluffs are made when the player believes that they have a strong hand and that raising their bet will make the other players think that they’re strong too.

When you’re in EP or MP, it’s important to be careful and only open with strong hands. The reason is that the players to your left and right will likely raise their bets on a regular basis if they don’t have strong hands. This can quickly empty your bankroll.