The Basics of Poker

A game of chance

Poker is a card game where each player is dealt a hand of cards and must use them to make the best possible 5-card poker hand. The highest 5-card hand wins the round and all the money in the pot.

During the initial deal, each player is required to put in a forced bet, usually an ante or blind bet (sometimes both). Once all players have placed their forced bets, each player acts in turn, clockwise around the table, revealing their hands one by one.

Basic Strategy

The fundamental strategy in poker is to play strong hands straightly, betting and raising a lot when you expect your hand to be ahead of your opponents’ calling range. This will price weaker hands out of the pot, build the pot, and allow you to bluff more effectively.


The strongest players in the world tend to play a large proportion of their strong hands very quickly, betting and raising with no hesitation when they expect to be ahead of their opponents’ call ranges. This is an effective poker strategy that will help you to improve your overall win rate.


Many players like to check the flop and continue in a hand for less, but this strategy can often be too risky. If you have a marginal hand that is not strong enough to bet but isn’t weak enough to fold, check and get the other players to raise their bets, forcing out weaker hands. This is a great way to increase the size of the pot and control the action while you learn how to play a winning poker game.