Poker is a game of chance and skill, in which players place bets based on the value of their poker hands. It is played with chips, which are usually made of plastic or ceramic and can be exchanged for cash at the end of the game.

The Rules of Poker

In most games, a dealer deals the cards and then all the players begin betting. The first player to call the small blind bets half of the minimum bet, and the next player to call the big blind bets the full amount. The remaining players in the pot begin betting, and the winner is the player with the best hand.

The Best Hands to Play

The highest-ranking hand in poker is the Royal Flush. This is comprised of a combination of hole cards (pocket cards) and community cards. Other high-ranking hands are the Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flash, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair and a High Card.

Some of the lower-ranking hands can also be strong, especially if you have two low cards with one high card. This is a good situation to be in, as you can bluff your opponents, which will make them fold.

Bluffing is an important part of the game but it should be done cautiously as a beginner. You need to learn relative hand strength as well as the context of a particular hand so you don’t want to bluff too much just yet.

Positions are incredibly important and should be a big part of your strategy. You should learn the positions of every opponent, how to read their hands, and what their betting patterns are before you start playing.

The Kitty

The kitty is a special fund that each player contributes to in order to pay for new decks of cards or food and drinks at the table. The kitty is built up by each player cutting (taking) one low-denomination chip from every pot in which there is more than one raise. The kitty is then divided equally among the players who are still in the game.


Bluffing is a common strategy in poker and it can be quite effective at times. However, you should be very careful and only bluff when you have a strong hand and feel confident that your opponent is going to fold.


Checking is a type of betting that is used in some variations of poker. When you check, you are not committing to betting, but you are telling other players that you do not wish to bet any further. This can help you build up the pot and make it more likely that someone will call your bet on the river.

A tight range of hands

When you’re a beginner, it is highly recommended that you only play a tight range of strong and/or playable hands. This will allow you to disguise the strength of your actual hand, which makes you very tough to play against!