A Beginner’s Guide to Poker

A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


When playing poker, you should know a few things before placing your bets. The first thing to understand is that most of your bets should be voluntary, with the exception of initial forced bets. You should also know that you must make a positive expectation for your bet. Besides, poker is a game of chance, and the outcome of every hand is determined by a certain degree of chance. Probability, game theory, and psychology play a huge role in determining your long-term expectation of winning or losing.


There are a number of different rules that govern poker. For example, a player may not raise more than the amount specified in the game’s betting limit. However, this rule does not apply to everyone. Some games, like stud poker, have a higher betting limit than others.


Poker bets represent a percentage of the pot. Alternatively, a player can make a pot-sized bet, which is the exact amount of chips in the middle of the table.

Bet sizes

A basic rule to remember in poker is to vary bet sizes based on the amount of money at stake. In a $1/$2 tournament, the default bet size is three times the big blind. However, if four people are calling the big blind, the players need to place another bet of eight dollars, for a total of $16. The more experienced players may opt for a lower bet size, which will put fewer chips at risk.

Betting phases

There are several different betting phases in poker, which are grouped into four general categories: the pre-flop, post-flop, forced bets, and tie hands. Each phase has its own rules and specifics for how money is shared. To learn more about these phases and how they relate to each other, read on.

Royal Flush

A Royal Flush is the highest poker hand in the game. A royal flush requires five cards of the same suit. More than one player can have a royal flush at a table. According to Hoyle, all suits are treated equally. Suit rankings are generally done from highest to lowest. Some casinos use suit rankings to decide who will win a pot, award extra chips to players, or assign seats in subsequent rounds of poker tournaments.

Five-card draw

Five-card draw poker is one of the most popular variations of Texas holdem. Each player is dealt five cards, and may discard up to three of them (four if the last card is an ace). The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. This variant is a popular choice for beginners and casual players, as the rules are simple. To win, the player must have a high-ranking hand, such as a flush or straight, or a pair of cards. A winning hand also includes two high-cards of different suits.