A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a card game played by two or more players with the object of winning the pot (all bets placed during one deal). The pot may be won either by having the highest-ranking hand of cards or by betting and forcing other players to fold.

Each player starts with 2 hole cards and there is a round of betting that begins with the 2 players to the left of the dealer. The players may call the bets or raise them. Then the dealer deals 3 community cards face up on the table called the flop. The player with the best 5 card poker hand wins.

A high-card poker hand is generally considered to be a pair of Jacks or higher. This is because a pair of jacks is the second-highest poker hand and it has very little chance to improve. A hand with three consecutive cards of the same rank is also highly unlikely to improve and therefore is generally considered a weak hand.

The best way to play poker is to observe the action around you and learn from your opponents. If you can observe how other players play poker without changing your strategy you will quickly become a better player. Beginner players often think about their opponent’s hands individually and try to put them on a specific hand, but this is a bad strategy. You should instead start thinking about the ranges of hands your opponent can make so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.