A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


A game of poker is played with a standard deck of 52 cards (plus jokers in some games). The cards are ranked from high to low: Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10. The highest hand wins. A player may fold (turn their cards face down) if they don’t think they have a good hand. They may also call a bet if they wish to stay in the game. By mutual or majority agreement the players may establish a special fund, known as the kitty, to pay for new decks of cards and for food and drinks when the game is in progress. The money in the kitty is split equally by all the players still in the game when the game ends.

Table position is a key factor for any poker player, especially a beginner. The first few spots to the left of the dealer are the worst and it’s generally best to avoid making a bet in these positions. This is because you don’t know what the players behind you will do, so jumping in with a bet early can be costly.

After the initial betting round three additional cards are laid out on the table for all players to see, these are called the community cards. This brings a new round of betting, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. If you wish to stay in the hand you can “call” (match the previous bet) or raise if you want to increase its size.