The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played with chips that represent money. It can be played with two or more players and is a game of skill and chance. There are many different ways to play the game, but most forms include betting and a showdown.

Before the game begins, players must “buy in” with a required number of chips. A white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue chip is worth 10 whites or more. Each player then puts his or her chips into a central pot. A player may raise a bet or drop his hand (fold).

Once the forced bets have been made the dealer shuffles the cards and deals them to the players one at a time, beginning with the player on his or her left. The first of a series of betting intervals then starts, with each player either calling the bet or raising it.

As the betting rounds progress, the strength of each player’s hand becomes clearer. If you have a good hand, it is best to bet and raise your opponents. This will force weaker hands to fold and improve the value of your own hand.

A mistake that many new players make is playing too passively with their draws. If you have a straight or flush draw, bet aggressively on it. This will increase your chances of making your hand by the river and will also increase your winnings.

Posted in: Gambling