A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a card game played between two or more players and where the object is to win the pot (a collection of bets made by all players in one hand). The game has been around since ancient times and it is thought to have originated from a number of other games including rummy, blackjack and cribbage.

Cards are dealt out in clockwise order and each player may “open” (place a bet), “check,” or “call.” After the first bet has been placed, players can also raise that bet for various strategic reasons. In the long run, a good poker player’s actions are selected on the basis of expected value as calculated by probability, psychology and game theory.

It is important to be able to read other players and learn their tells (eye movements, idiosyncrasies, hand gestures, betting behavior etc). For example, if a player who usually calls fairly often suddenly raises a bet it could indicate that they are holding a strong poker hand!

A poker player’s ego should never get in the way of their decision making. A player should only play with money they are comfortable losing and should always err on the side of caution. If you are too concerned about losing your buy-in when you start playing a particular stake, you will probably end up making poor decisions that will cost you money in the long run.