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How to Play Poker Like a Pro

Poker is a card game that requires a high level of technical skill. While it does involve a lot of luck, it’s a competitive skill game like any other where the best players will win in the long run. To become a good player you need to understand the rules, how to play, and what kind of strategy to use. You also need to practice and watch other players to develop quick instincts.

Before the betting starts, each player receives two cards face down and one card face up. Then the person to their left acts first and the rest of the players can call or raise their bets. The highest hand wins. Ties are broken by looking at the highest card, then the second highest, etc.

After the betting round is complete the dealer deals three additional cards on the table that anyone can use. This is called the flop. At this point the odds of winning a hand will decrease from round to round, and it’s important to know when you should stop taking risks.

Jenny Just, 54, a self-made billionaire co-founder of financial firm PEAK6 Investments in Chicago, says learning to play poker as a teen taught her valuable lessons about strategic thinking and risk management. She advises new players — and young people starting careers — to take “more risks, sooner.” But she cautions that some of those risks will fail, so it’s critical to learn to manage them effectively.