The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of chance where players try to make the best possible hand. It can be played with a number of different variants and consists of several rounds of betting.

Betting intervals

Each betting interval in a deal is marked by the dealer placing the number of chips required for that betting interval into the pot. Each player in turn may place his bets into the pot and must pay off his bet when a player else raises.

The cards

The poker deck consists of 52 cards. These are usually dealt face-down and may be of a variety of back colours. During the game, one or more jokers/wild cards are dealt and can replace any other card in a player’s hand.


Deception is a technique used by poker players to induce their opponents to change their style of play. It may be as simple as bluffing, or more complex, such as a semi-bluff, where the player attempts to improve a weak hand to a strong one in later rounds by increasing the bet amount.

Mental training

A study of poker players has shown that professional poker players are less prone to emotions than amateurs. Amateur players tend to let their emotions control them during the game, whereas expert players are more likely to think about strategy and make decisions based on their analysis of the cards and other information. This leads to better results and a greater ability to win at poker.