The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that requires a lot of skill and strategy. While it has a lot of the same elements as other card games it is also unique in that there is a significant amount of risk associated with every wager. This is the main reason that poker is viewed so negatively by many people. However, those who take the time to learn the game and understand all of the skill involved often find themselves able to play well and earn money from it.

In the beginning of each deal a player will place either an ante bet or a pair plus wager. Then three cards will be dealt to each player and the dealer. The player will then look at his hand and decide whether to place a “play” wager (equal to the ante bet) to pit it against the dealer’s hand or not. Optimum strategy dictates that the player should play all hands greater than Queen, Six and Four and fold all hands worse.

After the first betting round is complete the dealer will put three more community cards on the table that anyone can use called the flop. Then another betting round takes place. After the second betting round the dealer will put a fourth community card on the table that everyone can use called the turn.

In most forms of poker there are two betting intervals per hand. The first player to act places a bet called the small blind and then each player in turn must place chips into the pot equal to or greater than the total amount placed by the players before him.