Learning to Play Poker


Poker is a card game with a variety of rules for betting and raising. Players use chips to bet, and the object of the game is to make the highest-ranking “hand” using a combination of your two cards and the five community cards. The game is typically played with a standard pack of 52 cards; some games may add additional cards called jokers to the mix.

Each player starts with a set number of chips to bet with, and each betting interval is initiated when a player places one or more chips into the pot before any other players. In turn, each player may choose to call that bet and add more chips to the pot; raise that bet; or drop (“fold”), leaving the remainder of their chips out of the game.

Observing the way experienced players play can help you build your own instincts. Consider how you’d react in a given situation and how your opponents would respond as well. Over time, you’ll start making better decisions without thinking about them.

Self-made billionaire Jenny Just teaches entrepreneurs and young professionals that learning to play poker is the key to success in business. Just, who co-founded PEAK6 Investments, says the game’s lessons in risk-taking and strategic thinking can be applied to any career. She suggests that people starting new careers or a new project take more risks, sooner, even when they know they’re likely to lose. That way, they’ll learn lessons more quickly and get accustomed to the feeling of risk-taking.