The Basics of Poker
Poker is a card game in which players attempt to make the best hand possible. This can be achieved by holding one or more cards that are not part of the community cards (called “hole cards” in hold’em).
The basic rules of poker are similar to those of any other card game. Each player begins the round by placing his chips into the pot. When all players have placed their chips into the pot, a betting round is over and the player who made the most money is awarded the pot.
Before the deal is made, the player to the left of the dealer (or if there is no dedicated dealer, the player who held the button) must post the small blind. The next player to the left of the dealer must post the big blind.
A forced bet, often a single unit or a proportion of the minimum bet, that is placed by every player before the flop is dealt. This ante, or “blind”, helps to give players something to chase, and also gives the other players an incentive to play.
The ability to mislead other players into thinking that you have a strong hand when in reality your hand is weak. The act of bluffing can be an essential skill in poker, as it can win you the pot without revealing your hand to other players.
A person who is able to act and deploy their “poker face” to the best advantage at the table is called a “poker professional”. Stephen Chidwick and Mike McDonald are among the most famous of these players.