The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game with a variety of betting rules. In most games players must ‘ante’ something (amount varies by game, our games are typically a nickel) to get dealt cards. Players then bet into a pot in the center of the table. The highest hand wins the pot. Players can fold, call or raise the bet of their opponent. The turn to bet passes clockwise around the table.

The earliest contemporary references to Poker appear in two slightly different publications: one, J. Hildreth’s Dragoon Campaigns to the Rocky Mountains, published in 1836; the other, reminiscences by Joe Cowell published in 1829.

There are a wide variety of Poker variants, but the most popular is No-Limit Texas Hold’em. This is a card game played with a standard 52-card deck. The game may also use wild cards.

Position is Important

Playing poker well requires a strong understanding of your opponents and the board. It is very important to understand where you stand in relation to other players at the table when it’s your turn to act. Having good position gives you “bluff equity,” which means that you can make cheap and effective bluffs when it’s your turn to act, and that you have more information about your opponent’s holdings than they do. In addition, being in late position allows you to see the flop and board before making a decision. This is a huge advantage. Having good position will help you win more hands and increase your profits.