Poker is a card game that requires a lot of raw technical skill to win. It might seem like a game that involves a lot of luck, but the reality is that it is just like any other competitive skill game in which in the long run the best players will always win.
To begin a hand, each player must ‘ante’ some amount (amount varies by game; in our games it is usually a nickel). When betting gets around to you, you can either call the previous bet (“call”), raise your own bet (“raise”) or fold your cards and end your involvement in that particular hand.
The highest-ranking hand wins the pot at the end of a betting round, with all other hands tied (if two or more players have a pair of distinct cards, then they break the tie by looking at the high card). However, in many games, a player can win without showing their hand at all by making a bet that nobody calls. This is known as bluffing, and it’s a key element that distinguishes Poker from other vying card games, and makes it so popular.
Ideally, a player should make bets with their strongest hands and their bluffing hands in proportion to each other. This way, the player will maximize their profit in the long run. One of the first steps in achieving this is to study the game’s structure and rules, and then finding optimal frequencies & ranges for various hands.