The secret to poker’s enduring popularity may be that it occupies a sweet spot between games of chance and games of skill. No one knows what cards will be dealt – that’s random. But over time, better players win more. Winning at poker requires a mix of luck, in-depth knowledge of the game, and insight into human nature.
There are many ways to learn the game. This beginner’s guide to poker is a quick outline of the vocabulary, rules, and game dynamics. It should be enough to help you get started.
Poker seems simple at first, but the best players incorporate layers of subtlety. Ultimately there is no substitute for experience. Once you’ve mastered the basics, the way to play better poker is to play more poker. See what works and what doesn’t for the unique player you are.
All of that comes later. Let’s start with the basics.