A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker’s hugely popular for a lot of reasons: it’s fun, social and has a deep element of strategy to keep players interested. But when you’re first starting out, it can be hard to know where to begin.

Each hand begins with two cards being dealt to each player and then five community cards revealed on the table. Players then have to use the combination of their own two cards and those on the table to make a high-ranked hand.

When it’s your turn to act, you can “call” a bet made by the player before you (by putting in the same amount of chips into the pot) or you can raise it. If you raise, the player to your left must call it if they can. Otherwise, they must fold.

It’s important to play only with money you’re willing to lose. It’s also a good idea to track your wins and losses so you can figure out how much of your bankroll you’re comfortable risking at any given point in time.

Depending on where you play, the players may establish a special fund called a “kitty.” The kitty is used to pay for new decks of cards and sometimes food and drinks. When the game ends, any chips in the kitty are divided among the players who have not folded. This is different from other games, where players are not entitled to their share of any raised bets. This is to prevent players from trying to profit off of the work done by others.