A Quick Guide to the Basics of Poker

In the game of poker there is a lot of skill and psychology involved. While luck plays a large role in the outcome of any hand, bluffing and reading your opponents is important. This article is meant to be a quick primer on the basics of poker, for more information we recommend getting a book or playing with a group that knows how to play.

After the first betting round is complete the dealer puts three cards face up on the table that anyone can use, this is called the flop. After this everyone still in the hand has a chance to call raise or fold their cards.

When you have a good poker hand it is important to raise your bets as this will force weaker hands out of the pot and increase the value of your poker hand. However, if you have a weak poker hand it is often better to check and hope someone else bets, this is known as “sandbagging.”

The last card to come out is the river, this is the fifth community card that players can use in their poker hand. The highest five card poker hand is the royal flush, this consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the same suit. Other poker hands are two pair which consists of 2 matching cards of one rank and one unmatched card, three of a kind is 3 matching cards of the same rank, and a straight is 5 consecutive cards of the same suit (such as 6-7-8-9). High card breaks ties.