Learn the Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game played with chips that represent money. Players place these chips in a pot at the beginning of each round. Each player may make one or more bets during a betting interval, depending on the rules of the particular poker variant being played. If a player doesn’t wish to place a bet, they may “check,” but only if no one before them has raised. If another player raises on a check, the original player must match the raise or drop out of the hand.

A player can also say “call” to add to the pot a bet that is equal to the amount placed by the last player to act. If they want to raise the bet even more, they can simply say “raise.” To avoid giving away their cards to other players, they should turn them into the dealer face down after raising the bet.

In poker, as in life, you have to be able to weigh your chances of winning against the risks you take. The ability to read your opponents’ tells is a vital part of this process. This can include anything from eye contact to body language, and it’s important to develop a skill in this area. Self-made billionaire Jenny Just, who co-founded PEAK6 Investments, says she learned a valuable lesson from playing poker: You need to be comfortable taking risks, but it’s also important to know when to fold. She suggests starting by taking smaller risks and learning how to manage them.