The Basics of Poker


In poker, two cards of the same rank are called a pair. Any other two cards are not pairs. The higher pair wins. For example, a pair of 6-6-4-3-2 beats a pair of 5-A-K-Q. Pairs of equal rank should be compared by looking at the highest odd card, the second highest odd card, and the lowest odd card.


There are many rules that govern the game of poker. Some of them have been copied from other cardrooms while others are entirely original. While this article will focus on the basics of poker, some of the rules may not be applicable to your establishment. In these cases, you may want to consult a rulebook from another source.

Betting phases

When playing poker, you have to be aware of the different betting phases. For example, the pre-flop betting phase is a critical part of the game, since it allows you to assess your own hand as well as the strength of your opponents’ hands. This will help you decide whether to raise your bet or fold. Generally, the best hand to bet with before the flop is pocket aces. However, there are situations when other hands may have better odds.

Hand rankings

Having a basic understanding of hand rankings when playing poker can greatly improve your game and increase your profits. Hand rankings are based on a number of factors. Generally speaking, the higher the hand, the higher the chances of winning. However, some hands are stronger than others, and sometimes a pair will beat the highest one.

Range strands

Range strands are an important concept in poker. These are essentially betting ranges for the cards that are held in your hand. They are commonly discussed in poker games and in discussions between players. Poker players often use shorthand notation to describe ranges, such as “JJ+” or “AQ+”. One of the most common ways to use range strands in poker is through ante bets, which are bets that are made before the game begins and which represent one tenth or fifth of the minimum contribution to the pot on subsequent streets. These bets encourage aggressive play in the early stages of the game.

Forced second bets

In poker, a forced second bet can help or hurt a player, depending on the rules of the game. These bets are most common in draw and stud poker, and they are required at the beginning of a betting round. They can help players with strong hands win more money, but can also hurt players with weak hands. The key is to make good decisions before the flop.


Stakes in poker refer to the total amount of money that a player will place on the table. These amounts cannot be removed from the table during a live game. The idea behind stakes in poker is to limit the risk. This is particularly useful for micro stakes where players tend to get aggressive. While aggressive players do sometimes win, they are not likely to win every single game. As long as they do not overextend their resources, they will be able to win.