The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game played by two or more people and is one of the few casino games that are not purely luck-based. The rules of the game vary depending on the variant, but they all involve placing chips (representing money) into the pot before seeing your hand and betting according to the strength of that hand.

Players take turns clockwise around the table revealing their cards and betting, with the player who begins this process being known as the dealer button. The player with the highest ranked five-card poker hand wins the “pot” – all of the money that has been placed into the pot during that particular round.

During the course of a hand, you should be looking to maximise the value of your strong value hands by raising and bluffing as much as possible. You should also look to make the most of your position by calling when you think your opponents are chasing mediocre or drawing hands – this will keep the size of the pot under control, and prevent the pot from becoming too large for you to profitably call.

Don’t limp into too many pots out of position – this is usually a mistake. Limping into a pot gives your opponent an easy opportunity to see the flop for cheap with a mediocre hand and will often result in you having to beat multiple opponents on the river. Only raise in late position if you are confident that your hand is strong enough to do so.