Poker Basics For Beginners


Poker is a card game in which players wager chips for the right to make a winning hand. Each player starts with two cards, and the dealer then deals five community cards face up on the table. Players may then choose to raise, call or fold their hand.

The best hand is a royal flush, consisting of a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit (clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades). A straight contains 5 consecutive cards of the same rank; and four of a kind is made up of 3 matching cards of one rank plus 2 unmatched cards.

In some games a player can also bet without having a hand by saying “raise.” This adds more money to the pot, forcing other players to either match your new bet or fold.

Regardless of the game, beginners should learn to be observant of other players and watch for tells. Tells are the little mannerisms a player displays that reveal how they feel about their hand. For example, fiddling with chips or a ring is a sign of nerves. Beginners also need to learn to read other players’ betting habits and to pick up on their body language.

Poker is a social game, and having friends who are better than you can provide invaluable information about the game. It can be hard to find such a network in real life, but online communities like TwoPlusTwo have a huge community of poker players who are eager to share their knowledge. Having someone to discuss specific hand situations or deeper strategy lessons with can be more useful than any book on the subject.