How to Play Poker


When playing poker, players are in competition with other players to place chips (representing money) into a pot. Each player has the right and obligation to raise or fold at any time. The first player to bet is called the active player.

The dealer then deals three cards face up on the table that any player can use, this is known as the flop. The player with the best poker hand wins the pot. If you have a good poker hand and the flop is weak then you should try to play it to see if you can improve your hand. If the flop is strong then you should be very wary about raising and you may want to fold.

Advanced poker players try to figure out their opponent’s range of hands. This is done by analysing the way that your opponent plays different types of hands, for example a flush, top pair, middle pair, bottom pair, a draw or ace-high. By knowing your opponents range you can make more accurate decisions and play the game more profitably.

To be a winning poker player it is important to stick with your plan even when the temptation arises. Human nature will always try to derail your game. Whether it is to be timid and call too much, or aggressive and bluff too often. You need to remain disciplined and focussed at the tables, even when it is boring and frustrating.