The Basics of Poker


A card game in which players bet against each other by placing chips into a communal pot. The object is to win the pot by making a high-ranking poker hand or by raising other players out of the pot. There are many variations of poker, but most games have the same basic rules.

When a player places the last remaining chips in their hand face-down onto the table and says “call” or “I call,” they are calling a previous bet. A player can also raise the previous bet, which is called a “raise.”

The first betting interval, or round, is called the “flop.” In this phase the dealer exposes 3 of the 5 community cards and the players begin to make their hands.

After the flop comes the “turn,” which is when the fourth community card is revealed and additional betting takes place. The final betting interval, the “river,” is when the fifth and final community card is revealed.

Playing in position versus your opponents, or being aware of their actions before you act, is one of the main principles of winning poker. Understanding your opponent’s range is crucial to this as you can make educated decisions on what type of hands he may have and how likely it is that he will improve them by the turn or river. This is done by analyzing things like their sizing, time to make a decision, and other factors.