Poker is a card game where players bet chips into the pot against each other. The cards are dealt in stages, starting with two private cards – called hole cards – followed by a community card (known as the flop) and then an additional single card (called the turn). The player can check (pass on betting) or raise. Raising forces other players to call or fold, and gives you valuable information about their hand strength.
The history of poker is largely unknown, but it appears to have become popular in the 1840s in England and America. Its introduction is disputed, but it may be attributed to General Schenck, who taught it to his guests at the Somerset country home where he was staying for a weekend retreat.
Pros: Poker is easy to learn and the rules are straightforward. It’s also a fast-paced game, with only one drawing round, meaning you can play many hands per hour.
Cons: The fact that you can’t see your opponent’s cards makes it difficult to deduce their strengths. Depending on where you’re sitting, the position of the raiser, the number of players in the hand, and stack sizes, your strategy will vary.
The most important thing to remember is that your hand is only good or bad in relation to the strength of the other player’s. You might have a great pair of kings, for example, but if your opponent holds A-A you’re likely to lose 82% of the time.