The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game where players make bets in turns and the highest hand wins. Each player puts in an amount of chips into the pot called the ante (the amount varies by game). Players can choose to “call” that bet, raise it or drop out of the hand. If they drop they will not get their cards back and must ante again the next time around.

Once the antes are in, each player gets dealt 5 cards and the betting begins. If you have a good hand, you should bet aggressively. The best hands include a straight flush, four of a kind, full house or three of a kind. The high card is used to break ties.

You have a pair of kings and you deal yourself a pretty decent hand off the deal, Ks-Kd-Jd-5c-3d. The guy to your left ‘calls’ putting in a dime into the pot. You decide to call, putting in twenty cents as well.

As the betting rounds go by, you will want to learn the tells of your opponents. Study their idiosyncrasies, body language, betting behavior and so forth. You should be able to read their tells and know when they are holding something great. If you see them check and call frequently, they are not going to fold unless they have a strong hand. However, if they raise their bet suddenly and unexpectedly, they might be on to something. Learn their tendencies and play accordingly.

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