A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a card game of chance and skill, played by two or more players. The game has hundreds of variations but a basic overview is the same: each player is dealt a complete hand and then bets during one round, raising and re-raising if they want to. The player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot (all bets placed during that round).

There are some forced bets, called blinds, which need to be put into the pot before you see your cards. These help create a pot immediately and encourage competition.

Once everyone has acted on their hole cards, a fourth card is revealed in the center of the table and there’s another betting round. If no one has a high enough hand to win the pot at this stage, a fifth community card is dealt face up in the final betting round (called the river).

A good strategy is to study and memorize charts that tell you which hands beat which ones (eg, a straight beats a flush, three of a kind beats two pair etc). This will allow you to make smart decisions and increase your winning chances.

Beginners tend to be too passive with their draws, which gives opponents the opportunity to bluff them into folding. Learning to become aggressive with your draws will make these hands much more profitable. Position is also extremely important and you should always act last if you can, since this will give you more information about your opponents’ actions.