A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a game of strategy, mental toughness, and attrition. Players form hands by using their personal cards and community cards to win the pot. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot. There are six standard poker hands, which are ordered by their relative rank (odds of winning): Royal Flush (10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace of the same suit), Full House (3 matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank), Straight (5 cards in a running sequence, regardless of suits), Three of a Kind, Two Pairs, and One Pair.

Each betting interval, or round, starts when a player bets some amount of chips into the pot. Other players can choose to either “call” that bet, or raise it. If they raise it, the original bet amount is increased by their new bet and the number of chips in the pot increases. They can also choose to “drop” by not putting any chips into the pot, which ends the hand and removes them from play until the next deal.

As a beginner, you should try to be conservative with your bets. This is because you’re still learning the relative strength of different hands. It’s a common mistake for beginners to bet at weak hands and end up losing a lot of money. Fortunately, with a little time and effort, you can become a more profitable player.