The Basics of Poker


Poker is a family of card games where players wager money into a central pot. The object of the game is to have a hand of cards that is better than the others’ hands.

Betting rounds are usually in a clockwise order and begin when an initial amount of money is placed into the pot, called an ante. Depending on the specific rules of the variant being played, each player in turn may “open” by placing their first bet (in the case of a game with blinds, this is a quarter); or “call” by matching the previous highest bet; or “fold” by dropping out of the hand without making any more bets.

The hand that wins the most money is the highest-ranking hand, which is determined by its rank of cards and whether it is consecutive or not from the same suit. This can be a full house, flush, straight, or three of a kind.


Some poker players use bluffs to win a large amount of money. A good bluff can force other players to fold out of the hand and raise the value of the pot. It can also increase the probability that a weaker hand will win, because it will make opponents think that they cannot call.

A poker face

Most poker players adopt a poker face, which is characterized by relaxed facial muscles and the absence of expression or movement. It is a difficult skill to develop, but it can help you keep your cool and maintain your composure when your opponent is staring at you.