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The Basics of Poker

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In the game of poker, players make decisions according to the rules. Each player has one or several cards, which are known as hands. This decision determines their chances of winning the round. In the final phase of poker rounds, players reveal their hands clockwise around the table. Which player starts this process will depend on the type of poker you are playing. If you’ve never played poker before, learn about the basics here. You’ll be able to make the most of the game in no time!

WSOP Main Event

Alex Livingston, who finished third in the WSOP Main Event in 2019, has been playing poker for more than a decade. Once, he lost $40k on beerpong. After that, he decided to drop his studies and stay in Amsterdam and play poker full time. Livingston shares stories from his poker career and gives advice to new players. Read on to learn more about his poker strategies and how you can beat your opponents.


The buy-ins in poker are the initial amounts that each player must pay to enter a game. Buy-ins are most relevant in Pot Limit and No Limit games, as the pot size can increase exponentially by the showdown. Most cardrooms also have minimum and maximum chip limits, as well as caps on rebuys and minimum buy-ins. A typical buy-in ranges from twenty to forty big blinds.

Limit betting

There are different kinds of poker limits. They differ in length and are all equally important in winning a game. Limit betting refers to the amount of money a player can open, raise, or call. Limit betting varies from game to game, but generally there is only one per player. Knowing what these limits mean will help you maximize your chances of winning. There are four general types of poker limits. Listed below are some of the most common types.

Ante bets

In Texas Hold’em, players make an Ante bet in order to play against the dealer. Players can also bet Pair Plus to play their own hands. When a dealer qualifies with a queen-high or better, both the player and dealer’s poker hands will win at 1:1. However, players may also win bonus payouts by placing an Ante and Play wager. Straight and flush wins are two examples of hands that qualify.


Although the Flush in poker is a very powerful hand, the players with this card combination aren’t guaranteed to win the pot. In fact, they often end up relying on implied odds instead. In order to increase the chances of hitting a flush, players must always be 100% accurate in their assessment of their opponents’ hand range and playing style. Making even one mistake could turn a flush into an “I had to try it” scenario.

Four of a Kind

In poker, a Four of a Kind hand consists of four cards of the same rank. In a poker game, the rank of the cards is the most important factor when determining how strong a Four of a Kind hand is. A pair of Jacks, for instance, beats a pair of Queens, and vice versa. Similarly, the suits of the cards are irrelevant when determining the strength of a Four of a Kind hand.

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