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A Beginner’s Guide to Poker


Poker is an immensely popular card game, and even though there’s a lot of luck involved, it can be a rewarding hobby to pursue. There are a number of small adjustments beginner players can make to their approach that will often result in an increase in win rate, separating them from break-even player and putting them in the ranks of the big winners.

A simple poker table, cards and a supply of chips is all that’s needed to play the game. Each round of betting begins when a player, in turn, puts a number of their chips into the pot (the amount they’re willing to risk) and then calls (match or raise) the bet of the player to their left. A player may also drop out of the hand if they don’t call or raise; however, they will lose any chips they’ve put into the pot.

The two most dangerous emotions in poker are defiance and hope. The former makes you want to fight for a weak hand when you should just fold; the latter keeps you calling even when you know you have nothing because of the possibility that the flop or river will give you that flush or straight you’re hoping for.

There are many skills a poker player must master to be successful, such as choosing the right limits and game variations for their bankrolls and learning the bet sizes and position of other players. But perhaps the most important skill is discipline and perseverance, allowing a player to stick to their game plan when it gets tough.

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