The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players compete against each other to make the best five-card hand. The player who holds the best hand at the end of the betting round wins the pot.

The rules of poker vary slightly from one version of the game to another, but the basic concepts are usually the same: Each player buys in with a number of chips. These chips are called “ante” or “buy-in” chips and represent an amount of money that each player must put into the pot before being dealt cards.

Ante (pronounced “an-TEH”) – the initial small amount of money that each player must put into a pot before being dealt cards; the player may then call, raise or drop. When a player folds or drops out of the hand, they lose any chips that have put into the pot.

Fold – to get out of a hand without being dealt any more cards; the player discards their hand and is removed from the betting until the next deal.

Raise – to bet more than the previous bet and compete for the pot; the player may then raise again or drop out of the hand.

New poker players often mistakenly think that they should only limp into the pot, assuming that other players will not call their bet. But this is often not the case, and in many cases, limping actually signals to other players that you are not holding a great hand. This is a big mistake, because the flop can transform your trashy hand into a monster in no time!