The Basics of Poker


Poker is a family of card games, typically played against other players, in which the best hand wins the pot. The game is distinguished by its ability to bluff, and various betting structures, including no-limit, pot-limit, and fixed-limit.

In a typical game, the cards are dealt clockwise around the table, one at a time. The dealer button (usually a white plastic disk) indicates the nominal dealer. The player to the left of the small blind (or the player still in the hand) is first to act, folding, calling the small blind, or raising his bet.

The next round of betting is based on the community cards, which are dealt faceup to all players. This is a standard form of play in Texas hold’em.

There are many variations of the poker game, each with its own rules and structure. The most popular version is Texas Hold’em.

This family includes the five-card stud and seven-card stud variants. In these games, players receive two extra cards per hand (three face-down, four face-up), from which they must make the best possible five-card hand.

In hi-lo games, the best high hand wins half the pot and the best low hand wins the other half. The lowest hand can qualify with at least five cards below 8; a flush or straight counts as a high hand and is not counted against the low hand.

Koon has remade his approach to poker, learning what size bets work best in different situations, and when it’s a good idea to bluff. He also has a strategy for dealing with situations in which he doesn’t know which tactic to employ.