A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a card game where players try to make the best hand using two personal cards and five community cards. The game is played in hundreds of variations, but there are a few basics that apply to most of them.

Getting Started

The basic rules of poker are the same in all variants: One or more players must make forced bets (usually an ante, sometimes a blind). Each player is then dealt two face-down cards and the dealer “burns” one card from the deck and deals the first three community cards (the “flop”) faceup to the table.

Choosing The Right Poker Strategy

In any poker game, a basic strategy is to fold when you think your hand is too weak to compete with other players. This is done by checking and folding when a bet comes around, or by raising your own bet if a player raises their bet.

Understanding Poker Tells

Every poker player has a set of unconscious habits that reveal information about their hand, called a tell. These can include eye contact, facial expressions, body language, and gestures.

Trying to Break the Poker Face “Pose”

A successful poker player has a special “poker face” that he or she adopts during a hand. This means that they do not look at their opponents, do not talk to them, and do not move their heads or make any deviations from their normal posture.