The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players place bets and then reveal their cards. The highest hand wins the pot. A poker hand consists of five cards. The value of a poker hand is in inverse proportion to its mathematical frequency; the more rare the combination, the higher its rank. Players may also bluff, betting that they have the best hand while trying to entice other players into calling their bets.

After each player has received their 2 hole cards (also called pocket cards) a round of betting begins. This round of betting is initiated by mandatory bets (also known as blinds) placed into the pot by the two players to the left of the button.

Once the pre-flop betting phase is complete 3 community cards are dealt face-up on the table. This is known as the flop and another round of betting begins.

If you have a strong pair, a flush or a straight and have the highest high card then you win the hand. If you have a high card and the others have no pairs or better then you look at their highest card to break the tie.

Be sure to watch and learn from the experienced players at your table. Not only can they help you avoid common mistakes but their winning moves can inspire new strategies for your own gameplay. Just remember to always gamble only with money you can afford to lose, and to keep records of your wins and losses to avoid legal troubles.