How to Play Poker


Poker is a card game with the twin elements of chance and skill. Over time the application of skill can virtually eliminate the variance of luck. In the early stages, it’s common for even experienced players to lose big pots. But don’t be discouraged, just keep learning and try to improve your game.

At the beginning of a poker hand you’ll buy in with a set amount of chips. A white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; a red or other colored chip is worth either 10 or 20 whites; and a blue chip is worth two, four or five reds. Each player will then get seven cards to use in a best-of-five-card poker hand.

The dealer will then reveal five community cards. These will be used along with the two personal cards you have in your hand to create your final poker hand. The flop can also be used to make some special hands including straights and flushes. You can also exchange some of your cards after the flop for new ones, depending on your rules.

A player can say “open” to place a bet before the other players, or they can check (pass on betting). If a player wants to raise the bet, they will have to call it. They can also say “raise” to add more money to the pot that their opponents will have to match or raise, or they can fold (give up their hand).

As you start to learn to play poker it’s important to stick to low limits. This is not only a good way to avoid losing a lot of money, but it also allows you to play versus weaker players and develop your skills faster.