The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of strategy, mental toughness and attrition. Most games involve the formation of the highest-value poker hand possible using the player’s 2 personal cards (hole cards) and the 5 community cards in play. The highest poker hand is called a Royal Flush (10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace of the same suit). Other high-ranking hands include Straight, Full House, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, and One Pair.

Once everyone has their 2 cards, there is a betting round starting with the player to the left of the dealer. Players can choose to check, which means they pass on betting, or they can raise, which puts chips into the pot that their opponents must match or raise in order to remain in the hand.

After the first betting round is complete the dealer deals three additional cards face-up on the table, which are community cards anyone can use. This is called the flop. There is another round of betting and then a final card is dealt on the board, which again is a community card. There is a final betting round and then the highest-ranking poker hand wins the pot.

Don’t be afraid to fold a good poker hand if it looks bad on the flop or when there are lots of flush cards and straight cards on the board. You can always find another hand to play with or make a better one later on in the game.