The Basics of Poker


There is a large amount of skill involved in poker, even at the lower stakes. Some of the key skills are patience, reading other players, and being able to calculate pot odds. You also need to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and have mental toughness. Look at videos of Phil Ivey and you’ll see he doesn’t get upset when he loses — and that is a key element to being a great player.

Each player starts with a certain number of chips. A white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue chip is worth 10 or 20 white chips. Each player can then raise the amount that they want to bet by saying “call” or “raise.” You are then placing those chips into the pot.

After the betting round is complete, the dealer reveals three cards face up on the table that anyone can use (these are called community cards). This is known as the “flop.” This is where you have an opportunity to make a four-card hand. The best hand is a straight or four of a kind.

To increase your chances of making a strong hand, play in position. This means you’re in the late position and your opponents have already acted before you. This gives you more information about their hand strength and allows you to control the size of the pot. You can also call the bet of the person in front of you and stay in the hand if your opponents are aggressive.