Learn the Basics of Poker

If you’re looking for a fun and social game to play, poker is a great option. You can start by simply asking around for games in your friends’ homes. You can also find a local club to join or get involved with. In both cases, it’s best to learn with people you can trust. It’s also a good idea to limit how much you gamble, especially when you’re learning. Always gamble with money you can afford to lose, and track your wins and losses as you grow more serious about the game.

Players buy into the game by purchasing chips, which represent money. Each player has a certain amount of chips they must use to place bets. A white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue chip is worth 10 whites.

Each player has a turn to act, starting with the first player to the left of the button. The action then moves clockwise. During the betting interval, players must put chips into the pot equal to or greater than the contribution of the player before them. This is called “calling” or “raising.” Players can call, raise, or fold as they wish during each hand. When they raise, they are indicating that they think they have a good chance of winning the pot, and that their bet has positive expected value. Similarly, they can fold if they have a bad hand that will not win the pot.