A Beginner’s Guide to Poker

Poker is a game of cards where players compete to form the highest-value hand using both their own personal cards (pocket cards) and the community cards that are dealt in one betting round. A high-ranking hand wins the “pot,” or the sum of all bets placed in that round. There are many different forms of poker, but most involve a maximum of six players.

During a betting interval, each player can either “check,” or pass on placing any bets; raise, or put more chips into the pot than the last person did; or fold. Depending on the game, players may also draw replacement cards to make their final hand.

When a player has a good hand, they can increase the amount of money they bet to win more of the pot. This is called “raising.” A player can also increase the amount of money they bet by calling a previous bet made by an opponent.

Advanced players try to figure out their opponent’s range of hands in a given situation. This includes the types of hands they have and the strength of those hands. It’s important to mix it up, so that opponents can’t predict what you’re holding. If they can guess correctly, you won’t get paid off on your strong hands and your bluffs won’t work.

This book is a deep-dive into the mathematics of poker, examining balance, frequencies, and ranges in great detail. While not for beginners, it is an excellent complement to The One Percent Course mentioned above.