Poker Basics – How to Quickly Assess a Situation

Poker is a game of cards and chance, but it also requires quick instincts. You can’t control the cards your opponents have, but you can control how much pressure you apply and how quickly you assess a situation. Practice and watch experienced players to develop your own instincts.

During each betting round one player, designated by the rules of the particular poker variant being played, must place an amount into the pot equal to or greater than that of the player before him. Players may raise or call, depending on their evaluation of their own cards and the cards they believe their opponents have.

Once the first betting round is over the dealer deals three cards face-up on the table that anyone can use, these are known as community cards. The second betting round begins and once again players must decide whether to stay in the hand or fold.

The final stage of the poker hand is called the showdown, this is when players reveal their cards and the player with the highest ranked poker hand wins. The highest ranking poker hands are Royal Flush (five cards of the same suit ranked ace through ten), Straight Flush (five consecutive cards of the same suit) and Four of a Kind.

Expert poker players know how to keep their hands a secret. They also know how to read tells, which are unconscious physical signs that give away the value of a hand. These can include facial expressions, body language and nervous habits like biting nails.