A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a card game with many variants, but it’s always played with the same basic rules. Its aim is to win wagers by either making the best five-card hand or convincing other players that you have a good one. Players use a variety of tricks and tactics to achieve this, including betting, bluffing and misdirection.

At the start of a hand, each player buys in for a specified amount of chips. A white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet, while red and blue chips are generally worth ten, twenty or fifty times as much – depending on the type of poker being played. The dealer takes the bets and manages the pot of chips. Players should know how to place their bets properly, but if they don’t, a more experienced player can usually help them out.

The first thing to learn about poker is the terminology. You’ll need to know the different ways to say things like, “Hit,” “Stay” and “Double.” You’ll also need to understand the rank of poker hands, so you can decide whether to stay in or fold.

When it’s your turn to act, you must declare how you want to play by saying something like, “I call,” if you plan on calling the bet that was placed before you, or, “I raise,” if you plan on raising the bet. It’s important to understand these terms because the way you play can have a major effect on how often you win, lose or draw.