The Basics of Poker


A game of Poker is played with chips, which are colored disks that represent a value (e.g., $10). Players stack and count them to keep track of their money. They may also raise or call the amount of another player’s bet. A player who bets an equal amount as the previous player is said to call; a player who raises more is said to raise. In fixed-limit games a player cannot raise more than the established limit. In draw and stud poker the limit is usually twice as much after the draw as it was before–for example, two chips before the draw, four after.

The word Poker is believed to have been derived from the French “poque”, which itself is a variant of Pochen, an old German card game. The likeliest immediate ancestor is Brag, which was first mentioned in 18th-century literature. The earliest incarnation of the game is called straight poker, in which each active player receives five cards face down after a betting interval (beginning with the player to the dealer’s left). This was eclipsed around 1900 by draw poker, in which players discard their original cards and receive replacements from the undealt portion of the pack, allowing for multiple betting rounds before the showdown.

The best strategy in Poker is to develop quick instincts by playing and watching experienced players. To improve your chances of winning, try to make sure you are a fast-playing aggressive player. If you’re not aggressive enough, you won’t be able to compete with high level players or maximize your win-rate against weak ones.