A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a game of skill and strategy where players compete for a pot of money. The game can be played with a variety of rules and has a long history as an international sport. In the 21st century, it became more popular than ever thanks to online casinos and broadcasting of major tournaments.

The Game

A standard poker deck consists of 52 cards, each ranked from Ace to King. Some games use multiple packs, others add a few extra cards known as jokers. The jack of the pack is the first card dealt face up, and it becomes the dealer. The dealer is responsible for the cards and must shuffle the deck after each hand.

The Player

Each player starts the game with a set of poker chips. They can either place a single chip into the pot, or they may make a bet of any number of chips. The player to the left must call that bet, putting the same number of chips into the pot; or they may raise, placing more than the amount required to call; or they may fold, putting no chips into the pot and discarding their hand.

The Deal

After the betting interval is complete, each player receives three cards from the dealer. These are community cards, and they can be used by all players. The dealer then deals a fourth card face-up, and it is the turn of the players to make their bets.

The Flop and Turn

After each betting round, the dealer deals another set of community cards, and all players must make a bet if they wish to continue playing. The player who makes the most successful bet is the winner of that round and collects the entire pot without having to show their hand.

The River

After the river, each player is given a final chance to make a bet and win the pot. This is called a showdown, and the player with the best five-card hand wins the pot.


The bluffing element of the game is one of the most popular aspects of poker, and it’s an important aspect of any poker strategy. This is because it allows players to take advantage of others’ bluffs, and they can often do so at a lower cost than if they were to rely on their own hand.

Bluffing is a valuable skill in poker, and it is something that you should practice often! You can learn to read other players’ behavior and their bluffs by observing them and paying attention to the way they move their eyes, hands and gestures.


Regardless of your level, position is critical to your poker success. Playing last lets you make the most accurate value bets possible, and it also gives you an edge in bluff equity. You’ll want to use this to your advantage, especially in higher-stakes tournaments and cash games.