The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game of chance and skill in which players wager chips (representing money) in betting intervals, determined by the rules of the specific variant being played. Each player has the option to call, raise or fold a hand during his turn.

A poker hand consists of five cards. The highest hand wins the pot. If there is a tie, the higher ranking of the cards breaks the tie. For example, two pair with three distinct cards each or four of a kind beats a flush. A straight is a sequence of five cards in descending order, any suit. Two of a kind is two matching cards, but not the same suit. High card is the highest ranking of any hand and breaks ties.

It is important to know your opponents and understand their tendencies in order to be successful at poker. Keeping a file of hands you play and hands you study off the felt can help in this regard. It is also useful to classify your opponents into one of the four basic player types: LAG’s, TAG’s, LP Fish and Super Tight Nits.

It is important to push players with weaker hands out of the pot early on in a hand. This increases your chances of winning. It is particularly important to use your position well in late positions. Try to avoid calling re-raises with weak hands from early positions, unless you have a very strong hand.