Learn the Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game with betting and a pot that players compete to win. The game can be played with 2 or more people and there are many variations on the rules. Regardless of the game you choose to play, you will learn certain fundamentals that will improve your winning percentage.

Players start by placing an ante into the pot, typically an amount that varies per game (our games are nickel-sized). They then get two cards face down and can begin to bet into the pot. They can call, raise or fold at any time during the hand. The highest hand wins the pot at the end of the betting round.

The highest hand in poker is a Royal Flush. It includes a ten, jack, queen, king, and ace of the same suit in a sequence. The next best hand is a Straight Flush. It contains 5 consecutive cards of the same suit, for example 4 aces and a 9 of hearts. Then there is Three of a Kind which is made up of three distinct cards of the same rank. Finally there is a Pair. Tiebreakers are based on the highest unmatched fifth card.

One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is being too passive when holding a good draw. They will often just call their opponent’s bet and hope to hit. Instead they should be more aggressive with their draws. This will force weak hands to fold and increase the value of your own hand.