Learn the Basics of Poker

Poker is a game of chance and luck plays a big role, but it also requires a large amount of skill. You have to study the game and the players, learn how to read them and adapt your own style. If you do all this correctly, you will be a very good poker player.

Each hand starts with everyone putting in some money, called the ‘ante’ (the amount varies by game). Once the cards are dealt, betting begins, and the highest hand wins the pot. The first player to bet must match the total stake of the last active player or raise it and the rest of the players must either call the bet, raise it higher or fold. This is referred to as the betting method and is a key concept to understand before moving on to strategy.

As soon as you have the basics down, start studying how to read your opponents. While this isn’t easy, it is a crucial aspect of the game. Many poker reads aren’t subtle physical tells like scratching your nose or playing nervously with your chips, but instead they come from patterns in how players play the game. Seeing these types of patterns will help you make better decisions at the tables.

If you have a premium opening hand such as Aces or Kings, bet aggressively. Don’t be afraid to make your opponent think twice about going head to-head against you in the Flop, Turn and River.