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Beginner’s Guide to Poker

Beginner’s Guide to Poker

Poker is a game of chance in which players bet against each other in order to win money. A typical game involves a pack of 52 cards (some variants use more than one deck and add cards called jokers).

The dealer deals the cards face up to each player and shuffles them after each hand. The dealer’s goal is to make sure that every hand plays fairly.

Betting begins in the middle of the table, where each player places chips into the pot. The first player to bet is said to “call.” Another player who meets the previous bet is called a “raiser” and can add more chips.

A player may also ‘check’, or remain in the hand without betting. Checking is only permitted in certain variations of the game, and is a way for a player to force other players out of the hand.


The most common beginner mistake in poker is limping, which refers to hesitating and showing a lack of faith in your hand. This strategy is easy for more experienced players to spot and pounce on, so it’s important to learn how to avoid it.

It’s also important to be smart about your game selection. Not all games are created equal, and a $1/$2 cash game with lots of amateurs won’t be as profitable as a high-limit, fast-paced tournament.