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How Do You Play Basic Poker For Beginners?

poker 101
This image demonstrates certain strategies pertaining to certain cards in Texas Hold'em poker.
Hand Strategy Different hands should be played differently. Good hands are key to winning poker games
BluffingBluffing is a huge part of poker. Convincing other players to believe lies is crucial to winning.

Playing the cards you are dealt

In poker, the cards you have in front of you, the first two cards dealt to every player, are key. Those cards are something only you know what they are and only you are capable of controlling. What those cards are should determine betting. The graph above shows how and when one should bet with the cards they are dealt. It is important to know when to play and when to not play. To simplify the graph, good cards are higher numbers, the same suit, and the same value.

Giving up is good

Folding, throwing away your cards for that hand, is actually a positive strategic move at the poker table. Good cards will not always come around so knowing to be able to throw away cards, even if at the end of the hand those cards end up being good, is key. At standard poker tables one should be playing approximately 20% of hands. Folding lessens losses and it allows you to gather information about other players.


Bluffing is a key to poker. The skill involved in poker is both being able to calculate if you have a good enough chance to win a hand and to be able to convince other players that you either have a good or bad hand, depending on what you are trying to do. Straight forward bluffing is done with chips. Betting a large amount pre-flop indicates that you have two good cards in your hand, maybe a pair. During the hand everything you do conveys something. Bluffing with chips is a way to convey something when the reality is different. Additionally, a lot of talking goes on at poker tables. Joking and saying different things can also be a method for bluffing. "Oh I like that card" or smiling when a card is put out can convey positive emotions while getting visibly upset does the opposite. You have to be careful though as everyone playing poker is bluffing and people may or may not believe you.