How to Play Poker


Poker is a card game played by two or more players. The game has a variety of rules and betting structures, but the basic aim is to make a high-ranked poker hand. A poker hand consists of five cards. The higher the hand, the more it is valued.

Each player places an initial amount of money in the pot before the cards are dealt (this is called posting). The person to their left has the opportunity to raise this bet by putting in more chips than the previous player. This is known as raising the blind.

The player to the left starts revealing their cards one at a time. If their exposed card beats the highest card in the middle, they win the pot. If not, they must fold or call the bet (that is, match it).

After all players have acted, three more cards are placed on the table. These are known as the flop, turn and river. The player with the highest ranked poker hand wins the pot.

It’s important to remember that your opponents will react to the way you play your cards as much as to the cards themselves. That is, if you think your opponent has a weak or bad hand and you raise your bet to put pressure on them, they will probably fold unless they have a better alternative (like a pair of queens). This type of behavior is referred to as “reading” your opponent.