Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is a card game in which players make bets with chips that represent money. The goal is to have a superior hand than other players, or win the pot with a bluff. The game is played with a standard pack of 52 cards, although some games use multiple packs or add jokers. The cards are ranked from high to low in suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs). Some games also include wild cards of various kinds.

A player can say “call” to match the current bet, or “raise” to put more money into the pot. Each player must have a minimum of 200 chips. Most games have two or three color-coded chip values: a white chip is worth the minimum ante, a red is worth the maximum ante, and a blue chip is usually worth 10 or more whites.

Beginners should play in games with the lowest stakes possible. This allows them to practice their skills against less-skilled opponents without spending a lot of money. It’s also a good idea to avoid tables with players who are better than you. If you join a table with 8 players who are better than you, you’re basically donating money to them while they improve their skills.

To be successful at poker, beginners should learn to read their opponents and watch for tells. A tell is a signal that a player is holding a strong hand or bluffing. For example, fiddling with a coin or a ring can indicate that a player is holding a big pocket pair.