A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a card game where players wager money to win. It is played by two or more people and the dealer shuffles before dealing cards to each player one at a time, starting with the person to their left. Before betting begins each player must ‘ante’ an amount (this varies by game but in our games it is typically a nickel). Players then bet into the central pot during several rounds of action. You can ‘call’ a bet by matching the last person’s bet or raising it.

When a betting round is complete the dealer puts three more cards on the table that everyone can use. This is called the flop. From this point on a player’s poker hand can be improved through the community cards or folded.

Position is key in poker, you want to be acting late when possible to have the best chance of manipulating the pot on later betting streets. Early positions give the aggressor more chances to force you to call their re-raises with weak hands and this can make it much harder for you to win.

Bluffing is an important part of poker but as a beginner it isn’t something you should be experimenting with too much. It is very difficult to get a good read on opponents and you’re still learning relative hand strength so it is better to focus on playing the most profitable hands.

Poker is a mentally intensive game and you should only play it when you feel happy and up for it. If you are feeling frustrated or tired poker isn’t the game for you and you should quit.