Learn the Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players make wagers using chips (representing money) in order to win the pot, or sum of all bets made during a hand. While luck plays a big part in poker, good players can improve their chances of winning by learning and practicing the basic rules of the game.

A player begins a hand by putting in chips or cash, called an “ante” or “blind.” After everyone has placed their ante, they are then dealt cards that they keep hidden from other players. Once the cards have been dealt, a number of betting intervals follow in turn, with each player having the option to bet or fold as they see fit.

During a betting interval, you can say “call” to match the last person’s bet. You can also raise the amount of the previous bet by saying “raise.” If you don’t want to call or raise, you can simply “fold” and let the next player have a chance to place their bets.

One of the keys to success in poker is reading your opponents. Although there are many subtle physical poker tells, the best way to read a player is by looking for patterns. If a player always bets then you can assume they are playing fairly weak hands and won’t get paid off on later streets (like a pair of Kings). Also pay attention to the way players move their cards and chips and look at their body language.