Essentials of Poker Strategy


Poker is a game where players use cards to make bets against each other. It is played with a normal set of 52 cards (or deck) and involves some luck, but also some skill.

The aim of the game is to win a pot of money by having the best poker hand. There are many different forms of poker, but they all share a few essential features.

Winning hands

A poker hand consists of five cards. These may be of one rank or from more than one rank, and they are usually in a sequence, but not necessarily in order. The best hand is a royal flush, which contains five cards in a sequence of the same suit.

Understanding ranges

The range of cards that a player could hold is an important part of poker strategy. More experienced players will work out what possible hands their opponents could have, and then try to determine if they would beat their hand.

Fast-playing strong hands

Top players will often fast-play their strong hands to build the pot. This will not only give them more of a chance to win the pot, but will also force other players who are waiting for a draw to call their bet.


Poker tilt is the tendency to make compromises in your poker strategy due to negative emotions, most commonly anger or frustration. This can be very dangerous in the long run as it can derail your entire game and cause you to play worse than you normally would.