The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that involves the twin elements of chance and skill. Over time, skill will virtually eliminate the variance that is involved with chance. Understanding starting hands and position is the first step to becoming a successful poker player. From here, you can begin to build a solid foundation for decision making throughout the course of the hand.

Once everyone has 2 cards in their hand there is a round of betting that starts with the person to the left of the dealer. These bets are called blinds and they are mandatory so that there is an incentive to play.

After the flop there is a third card called the turn and a second round of betting. This is a good time to bluff or to fold if your hand doesn’t look good.

A fifth card is then dealt face up and this is called the river. There is one final round of betting and the best 5 card hand wins.

There are 3 emotions that can kill your chances of winning at poker-defiance, hope and fear. Defiance is the desire to hold on to your weak hand in spite of other players throwing their weight at it, and hope is the hope that the flop, turn or river will give you that straight or flush you want. The best way to counter these emotions is by playing aggressively and forcing other players to pay to see your high ranked hands.