The Art of Playing Poker


Poker is a game of chance, but it also requires strategic thinking and risk management. And as Jenny Just, 54, the co-founder of PEAK6 Investments, a financial firm for women, learned when she first sat down to play with her daughter a few years ago: It’s not just about luck.

The game starts with a single player anteing (the amount varies by game, ours is typically a nickel). Cards are dealt one at a time, face down, until a jack appears on the table. Then the players start betting into a pot in the middle, and the highest hand wins the pot.

If no one calls a raise, players will often fold their hands, or they may continue to call until they have a winning hand. If a player has a good hand, they will often bet heavily to force out weaker hands. But it’s important to remember that a high-pot-odds hand can still lose if your opponent has a better one.

If you’re learning to play, watch experienced players to develop quick instincts. This will help you identify conservative players and aggressive ones, which will allow you to spot their behavior more easily.