How to Play Poker


Poker is a card game for two to 14 players, played with chips (representing money). A complete hand of five cards is required to win the pot. In some variants the game can be played with fewer than five cards.

Each player places in the pot, or central pile of bets, a number of chips equal to the minimum ante or blind bet. A player may raise or re-raise other players in his turn, or fold if he has a weak or bad hand.

The dealer shuffles the cards, and then deals each player one card at a time, beginning with the person to his left. Once all the players have their cards, the first of several betting intervals begins. Each player must place in the pot enough chips to cover his initial bet, plus any additional raises made by other players.

When you play Poker, the luck element is unavoidable and needs to be taken into consideration when determining your winning strategy. However, you can minimize your exposure to variance by employing proper bankroll management, learning how to deal with downswings, and working on your mental game.

As you play poker, you must understand that your opponent will try to read your body language and bluffing skills. Often, the best way to beat your opponents is to be aggressive and bluff only when it makes sense. A well-timed bluff, when used wisely, can add to the overall value of your hand.