Poker is a hugely popular game for good reason – it’s social, can be played for fun or real money, and has a deep element of strategy to keep people interested as they learn. But if you’re new to the game, it can be difficult to know where to start.
There are several different ways to play poker, but all games consist of a series of betting intervals. Each betting interval begins when the dealer shuffles the cards, cuts them, and deals each player a number of cards (representing money) that are either face up or face down depending on the particular poker variant being played. The dealer then collects all the chips in the central pot and the players who are still in the hand show their cards at the end of the betting interval in a “showdown.”
If you have a strong poker hand, such as pocket kings, the flop may look scary, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win the game. However, if you have pocket fives and the flop comes A-8-5, it’s unlikely anyone will call your bet and you should probably fold.
The game is typically played with poker chips that represent a set amount of money (the value of the chip is assigned prior to the start of the game). When a player wants to place a bet, they say “call” or “I call” to match or raise the last bet and then put their chip or cash into the pot.