The Basics of Poker Strategy

Poker is a card game in which players place chips (representing money) into the pot during betting intervals. This is usually done in a clockwise direction. It is a very popular game with a number of different variants and has become one of the most popular card games in North America, where it has been called the national card game and its play and jargon permeate American culture.

When it comes to poker strategy there are many things that you need to keep in mind. The most important thing is to always keep your opponent under pressure. One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is getting too passive when they have a good hand. They will call every bet and hope to hit their draw on the river, instead of trying to get their opponents to fold through a semi-bluff or by playing their draw aggressively.

When it is your turn to bet in a poker hand you can either “call” or “raise”. If the player to your right just raised, you should say “call” to put in the same amount as him and continue on with the hand. If you think you have a strong hand, you can also raise the amount that everyone else must bet in order to remain in the hand. This increases the value of the pot and forces weak hands to fold. Then you have a chance to win the pot with your good hand!