A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a card game played by two or more players. The goal is to win the pot, or all of the chips in a betting round. Each player must either call the amount of the bet, raise it by putting in more than the previous player, or drop out (fold). The highest ranked hand wins the pot.

In a standard game, the dealer changes after each hand. The person to the left of the dealer cuts the cards after they have been shuffled and is known as the button. The button passes clockwise around the table each hand.

A poker hand consists of five cards. A straight contains 5 consecutive cards of the same suit, a flush contains 3 matching cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another rank, and a pair is two cards of one rank plus three unrelated cards. In the event of a tie, the higher card wins.

As a new player, it’s important to start out conservatively and at low stakes. This will let you play more hands and observe player tendencies. It’s also a great way to build your confidence and learn the flow of the game. After you get more experience, it’s time to start opening your hand range and mixing your play more. The best poker players love the game and are constantly improving. Even the most successful poker professionals had a rough start, but they kept improving and eventually turned into million dollar winners on the pro circuit!