The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players bet money against each other. It is played from a standard pack of 52 cards, usually ranked by Ace to Queen, but some games use jokers or wild cards. The highest hand wins the pot.

Playing poker is a mix of skills like reading your opponents, predicting odds, and being able to keep a cool demeanor while making big bluffs. It also requires a lot of patience, as it can be a long game and you must wait until you see the flop before you decide whether to raise or fold your hand.

The Rules of the Game:

The rules of poker are simple: each player is dealt five cards and you must make the best possible hand with your five cards plus the community cards. Then you must show your cards and the highest hand wins the pot.


The first round of betting takes place and the dealer deals three cards face up on the table. Once that round is over everyone still in the hand gets a chance to bet and raise. Once all of the bets have been made the dealer places a fourth card on the table that anyone can use. This card is called the turn and it is followed by a final betting round which is called the river.


If there are ties between hands in the flop, turn or river then each player looks at their card and the highest one breaks a tie. Then the second highest breaks a tie and so on.

High Pairs:

The highest possible hand in poker is a pair of cards with the same rank. The other two cards in the hand must be of different suits. A high pair beats any hand with only one pair of cards, such as a pair of kings.

A flush is another type of high card hand and a straight is another. There are many variations on these hand types but the basic rules of poker are always the same: a flush, a straight, or a pair of the same suit is the highest hand and you must have the same suit in order to win.

High Cards:

The highest card in a hand is the kicker. This is the highest-ranking card left in the deck when a hand has four or five cards. It is a good idea to use the kicker in your poker hand because it can help you get out of a tight spot and win a large amount of chips.


When you have a low hand that offers very poor odds of winning the pot, it is a good idea to fold it. This is because even if you have the high hand, your opponent may be better equipped to win the pot than you are.

Improve Your Range:

Most beginners stick to playing only strong starting hands, but you should increase your range as soon as you start playing seriously. This is a very important strategy because it will help you win more chips and be a competitive player.