The Tells of Poker

Poker is a card game played with chips that represent money. There are many forms of poker, but most involve 6 or more players and a shared pot for betting in each hand. Players start with a fixed amount of money (called “chips”) that they place into the pot each round, which then goes to the highest-ranking hand at the end of the game.

Each player is dealt 2 cards, and the aim is to make a 5 card “hand” by using these two cards plus the five community cards. There are several rounds of betting, with each player placing chips into the pot according to their preferred strategy. Players may also choose to raise their bet if they wish to force out weaker hands, or fold their cards if they have a strong hand.

A pair is two distinct cards of the same rank. A flush contains 5 cards of consecutive ranks, or the same suit. A straight is any 5 cards in a sequence, but not necessarily consecutive. A full house is three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. A high card breaks ties when no one has a pair or higher. Every good poker player has a set of tells, or unconscious habits that reveal information about their hand to other players. These can be as simple as a change in posture or facial expression. They can be useful to learn when and how to bluff, and to help you avoid making mistakes that cost you the game.