Learn the Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players place bets on the strength of their cards and the probability that other players hold better hands. The aim is to form a poker hand based on the rules of the particular game being played, and then win the pot (the aggregate sum of all bets placed). Players may also bluff in order to induce players with inferior hands to call their bets.

The game is almost always played with chips representing money. Each player must purchase a certain number of these chips at the beginning of the game. The chip values vary from game to game but generally a white chip is worth one unit of the minimum ante, and red chips are worth five units.

After all players have their two initial cards the dealer deals three cards face up on the table that everyone can use, this is called the flop. Then each player must decide to either fold their hand or raise their bets.

A key skill for learning poker is reading your opponents. This isn’t a case of picking up subtle physical tells but more about looking for patterns in their betting habits. For example if a player is checking the flop after it comes A-2-6 then they can be assumed to have a strong pair in their hand. In the same way if a player is raising every time they see a strong flop then they likely have an extremely solid pair themselves.