The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players compete to form the highest ranking hand according to the rules of the game. The highest hand wins the pot, which is the aggregate of all bets placed during a round. Usually, before the first betting round begins, all players are required to ante up some amount of money (the ante and blind bets vary by game; in our games, it is typically a nickel).

After the antes are posted, the dealer shuffles the cards, then deals each player one card at a time, starting with the player on their seat to the left. Then, the first of several betting rounds begin.

During each betting round, the players can call, raise or fold their hands. The highest hand wins the pot, and if all players fold, the dealer collects the pot without showing their cards.

The skill of reading your opponents is vital to your success at poker. It is important to be able to read a player’s mood and body language, as well as their hand movements and tells.

When you have a strong enough hand to play, you should always try to make it worth while by betting into the pot. This forces weaker hands to fold, and increases the value of your strong hand.