The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players wager chips and the winner takes all of the money at the table. There are many different variants of the game, but in general players place a bet before being dealt cards and then take turns revealing their hands. The player with the best hand wins the pot. Players may also agree before the game begins to share some of the pot money if they lose.

Before each round, players make a bet either by raising their own stake or matching the bet of the player to their left. The first player to raise their stake is called the aggressor and has a better chance of winning the pot.

The game is based on chance and psychology. There is a great deal of skill in reading players and identifying tells. A player’s eyes and body language can tell you a lot about their hand strength. Observe how experienced players react to develop your own instincts.

The strongest hands are a royal flush (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit), straight flush (5 cards in sequence but not from the same suit), four of a kind (3 cards of the same rank plus 2 unmatched cards), and pair (2 cards of the same rank). The higher the rank, the better the hand.