The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game that requires a good strategy and the ability to read your opponents. It is also helpful to know the game’s rules and hand rankings. It is important to keep an eye on your opponents, especially those to your left and right. Watching for their betting patterns and tendencies will give you clues to their strength/weakness. For example, if they are raising often and you have a strong hand, it may be best to call.

A poker hand consists of five cards. Each card has a rank (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, etc) and each suit has a value of spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. Some games also include wild cards which can take on any suit and rank they want (dueces, one-eyed jacks, etc). The highest poker hand wins.

Players place a small bet called an ante before the dealer deals them a hand of cards. When it is your turn to act you can choose to fold, call or raise the amount the player to your left raised. If you have a strong hand, you should try to play aggressively in order to push other players out of the pot.

After the first round of betting is complete the dealer puts three community cards on the table that everyone can use – this is called the flop. After the flop is dealt for the second time all remaining players get a chance to check/call/raise or fold their hands. Once the betting is over the dealer places a final card on the board that everyone can use – this is called The River.