A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a game of skill where luck plays a role but the more you play the more you learn about reading your opponents and changing your strategy based on what you see them doing. It’s also about bluffing (although bluffing is an advanced poker skill) and using a range of betting strategies to build a pot.

A basic deck of 52 cards is used with different colors representing various denominations of chips that players use to represent their money. Most poker games are played with chips rather than cash because they’re easier to stack, count and keep track of as well as make change.

After the cards are dealt, a round of betting begins. Each player has the option to check (pass on betting), call (put in the same number of chips as the person to their left) or raise (bet more than the previous player). When a player calls or raises, they must match that amount in order for the round to continue.

The highest poker hand is called a royal flush which consists of all five matching cards in sequence as well as the highest card available. A straight contains 5 consecutive card values from more than one suit, while a three of a kind is made up of 3 matching cards of any rank and two unmatched cards. Two pair is two cards of the same rank and another two unmatched cards.

A common mistake for newbies is to get too attached to good hands such as pocket kings or queens. It’s important to remember that the flop could bring tons of flush or straight cards and this would spell doom for even these strong hands.