A Beginner’s Guide to Poker



Poker is a card game with many variations, played worldwide in casinos and home games. It can be played by two or more players, with the object of winning a pot (the aggregate amount of all the bets made on a hand).

Each player starts with a set number of chips. Generally there is one white chip, worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is usually worth five whites, and blue or other dark-colored chips may be valued at 10, 20 or 25 whites. During each betting interval (called a “round”) a player may call, raise or drop. If a player calls he or she must put into the pot at least as much as the previous player. If a player raises, he or she must increase the amount of chips they are putting into the pot. If a player drops, he or she surrenders any rights to the original pot and any side pots (if applicable) to the player who called his or her later bet.

A good poker strategy requires careful consideration of a player’s position in the hand, and an understanding of what type of bet is appropriate. Depending on the player’s skill, luck and the overall situation at the table, the correct bet can make or break the outcome of a hand. A good bluffing technique can also greatly improve the chances of a winning poker hand.