How to Get Started in Poker


Poker is a card game with a wide variety of rules, variants and limits. It can be a very lucrative and fun game to play, but it takes time and effort to learn. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help new players get started with the game.

The first step is to familiarize yourself with the basic rules and hand rankings. This can be done by reading poker books or watching other people play the game online. It is also helpful to study the strategies of experienced players to understand what it takes to win a hand.

Once the antes are placed and it is your turn to act, you must decide whether to call or raise the previous player’s bet. If you call a bet, you must place chips into the pot equal to or higher than the amount of money raised by the player before you.

After the flop is dealt, there is another betting round. If you have a strong poker hand, bet it! This will force weaker hands out and raise the value of your pot.

Most professional players will tell you to only play the best poker hands. However, this isn’t always possible, and it’s boring to play poker if you only ever have high pairs (aces, kings, queens, jacks) or straights (five consecutive cards of the same suit). The best way to make money at poker is to bluff when you have a bad hand and get others to fold.