The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players place bets (representing money) into the pot, called the “pot.” One player, designated by the rules of the specific game variant being played, has the privilege and obligation to make the first bet. Each player in turn must call the bet or raise it, or drop his hand and exit the betting interval (though he can return to the pot at the end of each deal).

When playing poker, each player receives five cards to create a poker hand. This includes his two personal cards in his hand, as well as the remaining five cards on the table. The most common poker hands are pairs, three of a kind, four of a kind, straights and flushes. Pairs consist of two matching cards, three of a kind contains three cards of the same rank and four of a kind is a combination of five consecutive cards of the same suit.

While poker has a significant element of chance, most professional players understand that long term results are based on skill and game theory. Jenny Just, the 54-year-old co-founder of PEAK6 Investments, says learning to play poker has taught her lessons about risk management and confidence. Just, who began her career as an options trader in Chicago, explains that she’s applied these lessons to her business. ‘It’s about being comfortable with taking risks and knowing that you’re going to be okay with those risks,’ she says.

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