• Home
  • The Basics of Poker

The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of cards and chips that requires both skill and luck. A good poker player will be able to read the other players at the table and change their strategy based on what they see. They will also be able to bluff, which can win them the pot. The key is knowing when to call and when to fold.

Each betting interval, or round, begins when one player puts in a bet of one or more chips. Each player to his left can then “call” that amount of money, put in the same number of chips, or raise it. A raise means that the player wants to put in more than the other players, and they must match or exceed the amount of money raised by any preceding player.

A poker hand contains either a straight, a flush, three of a kind, or two pair. A straight consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit. A flush is a card of any rank, followed by another card of the same rank and then a third, fourth, or fifth card of the same suit. Three of a kind is a pair of cards of the same rank. Two pairs consist of a pair of cards of the same rank and an additional card of any rank.

If two players have the same pair, then the higher ranking of the remaining cards determines which hand wins. Similarly, a higher-ranked straight beats a lower-ranked pair.