How to Play Poker


Poker is a card game that can be played for cash or in tournaments. It requires some luck but also a lot of skill and psychology.

Before cards are dealt, players must “ante,” or place a minimum amount of chips into the pot. (One chip represents a specific dollar amount, though the exact value varies by game.) Players may then choose to fold, call, or raise. If they raise, they add a certain number of chips to the pot (the minimum is usually one) that the other players must match or beat.

Once the cards are dealt, betting continues in a circular fashion until everyone has folded, called, or raised. The highest hand wins the pot. (There are exceptions, but they are rare).

A poker player’s hand is made up of five cards and must contain a certain amount of values to be considered a winning hand. There are various types of poker hands, but the highest is a Royal flush, consisting of Ace, King, Queen, and Jack. Other types of hands include Straight, Flush, Three of a Kind, and Two Pair. Some games use wild cards, which can take on the rank and suit of any other card.

While some people might think that learning how to play poker is a waste of time, Just says that building comfort with risk-taking can be useful for many careers and personal endeavors. She advises students to start by taking small risks in lower-stakes environments. If they find their odds are diminishing, she says, it might be time to change course.