While the game of poker is often considered a pure game of chance, there is a small element of skill in each hand. The key is analyzing your opponents and finding good spots to bluff and check. It is best to fold if you don’t have a strong hand, or to check and fold when your cards are poor. If you have a strong hand, you should bet, to force weaker players to fold and increase the pot value.
The game is played with chips, which are usually supplied for games with seven or more players. There are two kinds of poker chips – the white and the red. A white chip is the lowest value and is worth five whites. A red chip is worth ten, twenty or fifty dollars, while a blue chip is worth two, four, or five reds. Players “buy in” to the game by purchasing chips, which are usually of the same value.
Most variations of poker use a standard 52-card deck. The cards are ranked from high to low – A, Q, J, and 10 – and are also ranked from lowest to highest. In most games, a player must place as many chips into the pot as the last player before him. An active player is the one who makes all the bets. If he isn’t active, he or she is not participating in the game.