A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a game of cards that involves betting over a series of rounds until a player has the best 5-card poker hand. Unlike some other card games, poker has no fixed rules and allows players to bluff. Getting a good grasp of the game takes practice and a willingness to try different strategies. A great place to start is by familiarizing yourself with the rules and hand rankings. There are also a number of free poker apps and videos that can help you learn the basics.

Once everyone has their two personal cards in their hands the dealer deals three community cards face up on the table (called the flop). Then each remaining player decides whether to call, raise or fold.

If you have a strong pocket pair such as kings or queens you should usually call the flop. However, you should be wary of calling if the flop has lots of flush or straight cards.

A straight in poker consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit (such as 3 jacks or 4 tens). A flush is any 5 cards that are in sequence but do not have to be from one suit. A full house is 3 matching cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another rank, plus 1 unmatched card.

The goal is to look beyond your own cards and think about what your opponents may have. This can help you make better decisions during the hand. Eventually, you will develop an intuition for things like frequencies and EV estimation.