The Basics of Poker


The game of Poker is generally regarded to be a game of chance, but with the addition of betting, it becomes a game with quite a bit of strategy and psychology. In the long run, a good player will win the majority of hands due to their ability to read other players and make calls based on expected value.

Each player must ante up some amount (amount varies by game) to get their cards and then place bets into the pot in the center of the table. During each betting interval, or round, players may choose to call any bet put into the pot by another player; raise any bet placed by any preceding player; or fold, leaving their hand to the dealer for the next hand.

Once the initial betting round is over the dealer puts three cards face-up on the board that anyone can use – these are called the “flop.” For the second time everyone gets a chance to bet/check/raise or fold.

If you hold a strong pocket pair such as pocket kings or queens you should consider raising on the flop and betting, however this is a risky move and it will not always work out. Also an ace on the flop can spell disaster for many pocket pairs. Unless your hand is high enough to beat the other high pairs, you will tie and share any winnings with them.