The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that involves betting in rounds and showing your cards to determine who has the highest hand. It is played by two to seven people. The rules vary, but the basics are the same. You are dealt two cards that you keep hidden from the other players, and then you use these with three of the community cards on the table to make a hand. There are a few variations on this, but the game is usually played without jokers (wild cards) and requires some strategy to win.

You start by putting in the ante, which is a small amount of money that every player must put up before they can see their own cards. Then the dealer deals everyone a third card, which is face up on the board for anyone to use, this is called the flop. Once this happens everyone has the chance to check for blackjack, raise or fold their hand.

When it’s your turn to act, you can say call to put up the same amount as the last player and go into the pot. You can also raise to make a bigger bet.

Beginner players often think of their hands individually, which can lead to bad decisions. It is much better to think of them in ranges. For example, if you have pocket kings then most people will expect a straight. This makes your bluffing easier and cheaper. You also need to understand your opponent’s tendencies. This will allow you to open up your hand ranges as you gain experience.