Become a Force at the Poker Table


Poker is a game of skill, strategy and bluffing that can be intensely rewarding. It is also a fascinating window onto human nature. Many people play poker just for the enjoyment of the game, but to become a force at your table you must learn to study your opponents and understand the nuances of the game.

If you are dealing with a premium opening hand, like a pair of Kings or Queens, it is usually best to play it aggressively. This will put your opponent on notice that you are a serious player and that they must consider folding their weaker hands when you bet. It is very disappointing when your opponent calls your bluff, but that is better than losing your money by calling their bet when you don’t have the goods.

During each betting interval, or round, one player has the privilege (or obligation) to make the first bet of one or more chips. Each player then has the option to “call” that bet by putting into the pot the same amount of chips as the player before them, or to “raise,” which means they put in more than enough to call.

When playing poker, it is essential that you only gamble with money you are willing to lose. The general rule is to have at least 200 poker chips in your possession for a game with seven or more players. Each white chip represents one unit, and each red or blue chip is worth ten units.