Learn the Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that is played in rounds with betting between each round. After the final betting round a showdown takes place where players reveal their hands. The player with the highest hand wins the pot.

A hand of poker consists of 5 cards in sequence, but not necessarily all from the same suit. A flush is five cards of the same rank and suit. A straight contains 5 consecutive cards of different ranks and can include the ace. A three of a kind is two cards of the same rank, plus one unmatched card. A pair is two unmatched cards of a higher rank.

When it’s your turn to bet you can choose to call, raise, or fold. When you call, you place your chips or cash into the pot equal to the amount of the previous bet. A raise is a bet that increases the previous amount of money put into the pot by another player.

The goal of poker is to win as many chips as possible, or at least not lose more than you’re investing in the pot. To accomplish this you’ll need to bet and raise appropriately when you believe you have a strong hand. To do this you must think in ranges rather than thinking about individual hands. To develop your ranges, observe experienced players and think about how you would react to their decisions. This will help you develop quick instincts that you can use in your own game.