The Art of Making Smart Moves in Poker


In poker, a flush is a group of five cards of the same suit. The higher card wins if it is higher than the second-highest card and so on. For example, K-J-9-3-2 beats K-J-7-6-5 because nine beats seven. In the same way, a straight beats a flush with a pair of threes.

Starting hands

The art of making smart moves in poker starts with understanding how the game works. The key is to understand the basics of preflop play, then you can learn to trust your own judgment. A good way to learn this is to look at some poker starting hand charts. As you gain more experience, you will start to trust your own judgment more.

Betting phases

When playing poker, betting phases are important. In each phase, the players are allowed to make decisions, including raising or folding their hand, calling a raise, and remaining in a weak hand. Understanding these phases is an important part of the learning process, and will improve your odds of winning a game.

Range strands

Range strands in poker are a key concept that guides players’ play. Players often use shorthand to describe their ranges, such as “JJ+” to include pocket Jacks, or “AQ+” to include all higher hands. One common way ranges are used in poker is in ante bets. These bets are made prior to the game, and are typically one tenth or fifth of the minimum contribution to the pot on subsequent streets. They encourage aggressive play early in the game.


Playing all-ins in poker correctly requires that you know your opponents. Players who have played the game for a while have a good sense of what their opponents are thinking, but those who are just starting out should pay attention to previous actions. If a player is thinking too long before making an all-in bet, they may end up bluffing.


In poker, straights consist of five consecutive cards of the same rank. This includes the Ace, which may be high or low. It may also be a pair, but it is not a straight. The higher card in the straight is called the ace. The suit of the other cards does not matter. Straights are usually named after their highest card, so Ace-high straights are called ace-high straights.


A flush is a hand of cards where all the cards are the same suit. In poker, a flush is also called a straight flush. In poker, a flush is a scoring hand.

High-card hands

High-card poker hands have a much lower ranking than other poker hands. The highest card of a five-card hand is the highest card in a High-Card poker hand. The next best card is then used, and the process continues until the lowest card is revealed.

Draw poker

Draw poker is a game that involves betting on the hands of other players. The player who has the best hand in the final showdown wins the pot. Typically, there are two or three betting rounds in draw poker. The first two rounds involve betting on a hand of two cards. The third round involves betting on a hand of three cards. After three betting rounds, the game moves to a showdown. During this final round, players can check or fold.