Poker Basics and Strategy

Poker is a card game, played by between two and ten players with a deck of 52 cards. The primary goal is to win the money (or chips) by having the strongest poker hand or, in the absence of a good hand, by ‘bluffing’. Discover the 9 poker tells. The winner is the one who has the highest hand of cards at the showdown or the player who was the only one left in the game.

All poker basics:

  • Players contribute to a central pot – this first bet is known as the ante
  • Players are dealt covered cards, depending on the variety of poker
  • Bets are placed in rounds
  • After rounds of betting, during which you call, bet or fold, the winner is determined

Basic moves in poker:

Pass – The player resigns from the game; he’s losing all the chips he’d put in the pot so far. Also known as folding.

Check – None of the players is betting, all players stay in the game waiting for the next card/next move.

To call – Calling requires the player to match the current bet made by his or her opponent.

Bet – First round of betting, when you need to give more than is in the pot

To raise – This is when you match another player’s bet and then ‘raise’ it by another amount.

All in – The player gives all of his chips to the pot.

To fold – You can drop out of the current hand, and forfeit the possibility of winning the pot, but you don’t have to put any more money in.

Betting strategy

Even the most seasoned poker players struggle with their betting poker strategy at times, going for arbitrary amounts rather than taking a more strategic and considered approach.

The game revolves around gambling and betting patterns in poker can be more complicated than you might think. New players frequently don’t understand poker betting correctly, let alone the most sensible amount they can gamble in different situations. A lot of new poker players, therefore, make serious mistakes with betting poker strategy and consistently bleed their cash at the table.

By not betting large enough amounts, you allow other players to catch up and to take the winnings away. But when you bet too much you are risking losing your money when the opposition has the upper hand.

One great tip is to keep records of your wins and losses and also keep notes on your opponents, different games and venues. It will help you in future games and take out some of the guesswork.

Also be aware of your own tells and study the opposition. You will get into a rhythm; even the experts do, so be sure the change your game every now and again to keep the competition on their toes.