Poker can be a tough game to play, but it is a lot of fun and a great test of skill. A good poker player must be able to adapt quickly and rely on a variety of weapons to win.

Getting Started with Poker

One of the first things you should do when starting out at a poker table is learn the game’s terminology. This will help you understand what is happening on the table and how the players are acting.

1. Ante (pronounced ‘an’):

A small bet that all players are required to make before each hand is dealt. The ante gives the pot a value right off the bat and prevents players from stealing chips.

2. Raise:

If you think your hand is strong, raise it. This will scare weaker players into folding, narrow the field, and raise the stakes.

3. Bluff/semi-bluff:

If your hand is good, but you don’t have the cards you want to make a winning hand, bluff your opponents. This will force them to raise, call or fold and give you a chance to see a fourth card that can improve your hand.

4. Check:

If you’re holding a good hand and the flop comes down with two Aces and a King, it is very common to check. If someone calls, you could then raise and get a big re-raise. It is also called sandbagging, as you are trying to build up a big pot without betting it.