The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game of strategy, smarts and mental toughness. But it’s also a game of numbers, with probabilities and EV (expected value) calculations playing an important part. Over time, as you learn the game, these concepts will begin to become second nature.

The basics

In all poker games players are dealt cards and then bet over a series of rounds. The player who has the highest ranked five-card hand when the cards are revealed wins the pot – all of the money that’s been bet during that hand.

There are many variations of the game, but they all revolve around being dealt cards and betting over a series of rounds. The winning player is the one who either holds the best five-card hand or makes other players fold theirs by applying pressure in the later rounds.

There are several different types of hands in poker but the most common is a Full House which contains three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. A Flush contains any five consecutive cards of the same suit. A Straight contains 5 cards that skip around in rank but are from the same suit. Two Pair is two cards of one rank plus two cards of another rank and one unmatched card. The dealer puts a fifth community card on the table for everyone to use which is called the River. For the final round of betting each player gets a chance to bet/check/raise/fold and the player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot.