Key Terms You Should Know Before Playing Poker


Poker is a card game in which players wager money against one another. The game has several variants, but all share the same basic structure: a player puts up an ante, then calls or raises to place chips in the pot. The highest hand wins the pot. Poker has become a popular activity, both at casinos and on television.

There are some key terms that you should know before playing poker:

Ante – the initial amount of money placed in the pot by each player. This is required to be placed before a player can see his or her cards.

Call – when a player calls a bet, he or she must put in the same amount of money as the person who raised it. This is to ensure that the game is played fairly and no one has an unfair advantage over others.

Fold – When you fold, you give up your hand and stop playing the current hand. You may have to wait a while to get the next hand, but you will save yourself some chips by not calling an outrageous bet. It’s a good idea to practice the art of folding before you play in real money games.


The showdown is the final betting round where players reveal their hands and determine the winner of the pot. During this stage of the game, the last remaining cards are revealed one by one until only one player remains with the best five-card poker hand.

A poker player’s winning strategy depends on his or her ability to read the other players at the table and make intelligent decisions based on probability and psychology. In addition, a good poker player should have the discipline to avoid making emotional decisions that may affect his or her overall performance.

Misplaying Strong Hands

It’s no secret that inexperienced or losing poker players tend to play too many hands. After all, they don’t want to miss out on any potential profit by simply folding over and over again. It is also common for inexperienced poker players to play weak or starting hands in an attempt to “showboat.”

Top players, on the other hand, are often able to profit from slow-playing their strong hands. They know that by continuing to bet on their strong hands they can build the pot, and possibly scare off players who are waiting for a draw that could beat theirs.

Trying to bluff at the wrong time

Trying to bluff at poker at the wrong times is often a recipe for disaster. If your opponent knows that you are holding a big hand, they will be very wary of your bluffs.

It’s important to remember that poker is a game of chance. Even the most experienced players will occasionally lose a big pot. However, by constantly working on their game and learning from their mistakes, they will eventually improve. Poker is a difficult game to master, but it’s well worth the effort.