How to Play Poker Like a Pro
A game of poker involves betting between two or more players in a pot. The first player to place a bet raises or calls the amount of his or her choosing. Then, each remaining player can either call the bet or fold. The player who holds the highest hand wins the pot. While the outcome of a single hand can involve a large element of chance, a good poker player can maximize long-run profits by acting in accordance with sound fundamentals, psychology and game theory.
A basic hand is any combination of three cards or more that rank consecutively, in order. A pair of cards with one card higher than the other, also known as a two-pair, is another common hand. A flush is any five cards that skip around in order of rank, but all are of the same suit. A straight is five cards in a row, either in order of their rank or with an unmatched card in the middle.
When you play a strong opening hand, like Ace-King or Queens, you should often bet big, to price weaker hands out of the pot. Many beginners tend to be cautious, and check when they should be raising, or they’re too afraid to call when they have a strong hand, so they limp instead of raising. This is a mistake. Aim to be aggressive when you have a strong hand, as this will improve your chances of winning and allow you to make more money.