The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game with a long history. Although its origins are a bit obscure, it is believed to have come from the 17th century French game poque. This is the source of the word poker, which later evolved into its current German name, pochen, and new version of primero. French settlers first brought the game to North America, where it quickly became an international hit. Today, more than 200 million people play poker worldwide, making it one of the most popular games in the world.

Basic rules of poker

Poker is a card game in which players compete for the highest hand. The value of a poker hand is inversely proportional to its mathematical frequency. Players may decide to go all-in with the best hand or bluff by betting that they have the best hand and the other players must match the bet. Players may win or lose depending on which strategy they employ. Basic rules of poker include betting intervals and bluffing.

Hand rankings

When playing poker, you must know the hand rankings. The best hand is a pair of two cards of the same rank, with a kicker. A pair of twos is the best hand. Pairs of threes are also known as a tricon. Three-of-a-kind hands are ranked by the highest card in the hand and their respective ranks. You can also rank a hand by its kicker, if it is higher than the other two cards.

Betting phases

In poker, a player has three options for each betting phase: check, raise, and fold. Check means not placing a bet, while raise indicates raising a previous high bet. A player with a strong hand may “call” by matching the highest bet, or raise by raising the previous high bet. If they do not have the highest hand, they may “fold” and wait until they are dealt a higher card.


One of the most important concepts in defending blinds in poker is position. As players get closer to the button, their pre-flop raising ranges become wider. In contrast, players who are further away from the button will tend to raise with weaker hands and put their opponents on a wide range. However, you should be aware of the best way to defend your blinds and not put yourself in a compromising position later on.


One of the safest moves in poker is checking. In pre-flop betting, a player can check in order to make the pot smaller. Generally, this moves is made by players with weaker hands, but can be used by strong hand holders as a bluff. To learn more about checking in poker, visit our guide to checkraise. Here are some examples. In poker, the player in the big blind position checks pre-flop.


When you fold when playing poker, you are laying down your cards and ceasing play. This can happen at any point during the hand. When you fold your hand, you are considered “out” for the hand and no longer have a claim on the pot or any additional money to put into it. Also known as “lay down” or “mucking,” folding is an appropriate decision that is made by experienced poker players.