The Basics of Poker
Poker is a card game of chance, strategy and skill where players wager chips to form a winning poker hand. The person with the highest ranked poker hand wins the pot at the end of each betting round. The game is played in rounds with the dealer putting up three cards on the table that everyone can use (community cards). Once the betting round in complete a fourth card is placed on the board which all players can use, this is called the “turn”.
When betting comes around to you, you have the option of calling a bet or raising your own. A call means you are betting the same amount as the last player or more, a raise is a bet of at least twice the previous bet. If you have a strong poker hand, then saying “raise” will allow you to add money to the betting pool and force weaker hands to fold.
The most important traits of a good poker player include patience, the ability to read other players and an analytical mind. Many books have been written on poker strategy, but you must find your own style based on experience.
It is a good idea to start off at the lowest stakes possible and move up as your skills increase. This allows you to play versus better players without risking a lot of money and gives you time to learn the game and develop your strategies.