The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game where the twin elements of chance and skill are required to win. With practice and good bluffing skills, even the most unfavourable hand can be successful.

The first step to becoming a poker player is learning the rules thoroughly. This will form the framework within which you will develop your own strategy to become a winning player.

Before dealing out the cards each player must place an ante into the pot, this is called forced bets and helps encourage competition. Each player is then dealt 2 cards which they can either keep or discard and then betting starts, the person to the left of the dealer takes their turn to either hit, stay, double up or fold.

Once the first round of betting is over the dealer deals a third card face up onto the table which everyone can use, this is called the flop. Once more a further round of betting takes place and then the fifth and final card is dealt face up, this is called the river. A final round of betting then takes place and the player with the highest ranking 5 card poker hand wins the pot.

When playing poker you must learn how to read people. This involves looking beyond your own cards and thinking about what other players may have in their hand, this allows you to make moves based on the information you have about their behavior.