The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played by 2 or more people and has become popular in casinos, private homes, card clubs, and online. The object is to win the “pot,” which is all of the bets placed by players in a single hand. The pot may be won by having the highest ranked poker hand, or by bluffing and forcing other players to fold their cards.

Each player gets two cards face down, which are their hole cards. Then there is a round of betting that starts with the player to the left of the dealer. Each player must either call the bet (put in the same amount as the previous player) or raise it. If a player doesn’t raise their bet or call it, they must discard their hand and drop out of the hand.

Beginners need to learn how to read other players and watch for “tells.” Tells include things like fiddling with chips or a ring. They can also be as subtle as the way a person plays. For example, a player who calls frequently but then suddenly makes a huge raise is probably holding an unbeatable hand.

A common saying in poker is to “play the player, not the cards.” This means that your hands are only good or bad in relation to what other players are holding. For example, if you have K-K while the other player is on A-A, your kings are likely to lose 82% of the time.