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A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games and it’s an ancestor of other gambling games like blackjack and rummy. It’s a great game to learn the basics of strategy, how to read your opponents and watch for their tells. It’s also a good way to build comfort with risk-taking, says Chicago-based poker writer Jennifer Just. But she cautions that people should start small and gradually build their risk tolerance. “If you see your odds are decreasing, maybe it’s time to fold,” she says.

The basic rule of the game is that each player must put in a minimum amount of money to stay in a hand, called a bet. Players can also add more money to the pot by saying, “raise” or “I raise.” If someone else calls your bet, you must either match it with your own bet or fold. A player who makes the highest-ranked hand after all of the cards are revealed wins the pot.

While poker can be played with any type of money, it’s usually done using a set of colored chips that represent units of value – the white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; red chips are worth five whites, and blue chips are worth 10 whites. A dealer chip is also used to indicate the current dealer. The chips can be purchased from a casino or poker website, or a home game may use paper money or peanuts.