Getting Started in Poker


Poker is a card game that combines strategy, skill and luck to determine who has the best hand. It is played at a table with chips that each player buys and uses to bet on the cards he holds. The cards are dealt one at a time and the betting rounds end when everyone has either folded or bet into the pot. The pot is won by whoever has the highest-ranking poker hand.

Getting Started

Most poker games start with a small amount of money, called an ante, that all players must put in before the cards are dealt. The ante is typically a nickel or less, but it can vary from game to game.

Then each player is dealt two cards, a hole card and three community cards (the flop). Once the flop is finished and any bets are made, all players are dealt a third card, which they can use to make additional bets.


The betting round is the most important part of any poker game. It is when players try to make a bet that will get other players to call or fold their bets. This is usually done in a clockwise direction, but some poker games allow players to choose their own order of betting.

Choosing Your Position

Before you play your first poker hand, it is important to know where you are in the game. This will give you a much better idea of how you should play your hand and what other players are likely to do.

If you are in a bad position, your chances of making the wrong decisions increase significantly. This is because you have no idea what other players are thinking and how they will act.

You should always try and be as cautious as possible when it comes to playing a hand. This will help you to avoid bluffing and wasting your money on a bad hand.

Knowing your opponents is also essential. The best way to do this is to study them and learn what they are doing and how they are reacting to certain situations. This can be done by watching their facial expressions, body language and their eye movements.

Getting to Know the Rules

There are hundreds of different rules for each type of poker game, but there are a few core concepts that can be applied to any game. These are:

Understanding the Hands That Win

In any poker game, each hand has a specific ranking and is ranked by its suit and high card. The highest hand wins the pot, and ties are broken by the high card.

For example, a pair of aces beats a pair of kings. If two hands have identical pairs, the high card breaks ties.

Having a strong hand is the most important thing when playing poker. This is because it can mean the difference between winning and losing a pot. If you have a good hand, you should try to get other players to call your bet or raise it so that you can get the most out of your hand.