The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played by two or more players. Each player has 2 hole cards and five community cards. The aim is to make the best 5 card hand, using the player’s own two hole cards and the community cards. The highest hand is a royal flush, which consists of four matching cards in a single suit. Other high hands are straights, full houses and 3 of a kind.

The game was invented in the 1830s, and spread rapidly. By the mid-1840s it had acquired its anglicized name, and by the late 1840s had become a standard 52-card game. Its ancestor is thought to be the three-card British game Brag, which was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries.

One of the most important aspects of poker is to be able to read your opponents. A good way to do this is to observe how they play, and note any mistakes they make. This will allow you to pick up on any tells they might have, which will give you a big advantage when it comes to playing against them.

Another thing you should try to do is mix up the strength of your hands. A lot of new players tend to only call with strong value hands, however you’ll find that top players will often bluff with weaker ones. This is because it will help to build the pot and chase off other players who might be waiting for a better hand.