The Basics of Poker


Poker is a hugely popular game with many benefits including: it’s social, it can be played for free or for real money and there’s a deep element of strategy. This makes it a great game for players of all skill levels to enjoy, from beginner to professional.

A player’s role is to bet chips into the pot (representing the money for which poker is played) in turn and in a manner that maximises the value of their hand. They do this by either calling, raising or folding.

Before you begin playing poker it is important to understand the rules of the game and how to play them. This includes the different betting intervals, how to read your opponents and how to determine the winning hand.

During each betting interval one player will be designated to make the first bet. This player and every player to his left must place in the pot a number of chips equal to or higher than the amount put in by the player before them. They may also “check” or decline to raise the bet.

If you’re holding a weak hand on the flop, don’t be afraid to check and fold. It’s better to lose a small percentage of your stack than to continue to throw your money away at a losing hand. This is particularly true if you’re EP (early position) or MP (mid-position). Short stacked players should play tight and only open with strong hands pre-flop.

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