The Basics of Poker


This chapter discusses the rules of poker. There are many variations of the game, but essentially, the goal is to win the “pot” – the sum of bets made by all players in one dealing. Winning the pot will depend on a number of factors, including the ranking of the highest poker hand and how many other players call. But what exactly is a “pot?”

The first thing to note is the importance of the pot limit. The larger the pot, the higher the limit. In draw poker, the limit is twice as much after a draw as before. In stud poker, the limit is likewise twice as large in the final betting interval. This is because players can’t raise if they have exposed pairs. So it is vital to know the limit of the pot before you bet. If you bet more than your limit, your hand is more likely to win.

While poker may be a game of chance, it gains in skill and psychology as you wager. While this article is intended as a basic primer on poker’s rules, you can read more about the game by purchasing a poker book or joining a group of players. However, it’s more economical to join a poker group and learn from them. It’s worth a try if you’re not sure whether or not you’d like to join a poker league.