Learn the Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players make bets and then reveal their cards to determine the winner of a hand. It is a great way to pass the time and have fun with friends. The game has a lot of variations, but the basic rules are the same. You start with 2 cards that are dealt face down and there is a round of betting before anyone sees their hand. The first player to act has the option of raising or folding. The bets are mandatory and create a pot right away to encourage competition.

After the first bets are made the dealer puts 3 cards on the table that anyone can use (the flop). These are called community cards and can form different hands. The highest hand wins the pot. A full house is three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. A flush is 5 cards of the same suit. A straight is five cards in consecutive order but not all the same suits. A three of a kind is three cards of the same rank and a pair is two cards of the same rank with another unmatched card.

Practice and observe other players to develop quick instincts. It is better to learn the game by playing and watching than trying to memorize a system that won’t work in all situations. Over time, the concepts of math like odds and frequencies will become more natural to you and help you to make better decisions at the table.