Before you even sit at a table, make sure you understand the basics of the poker hand hierarchy.
Otherwise, you won't even know if you're holding a good hand after the cards are dealt! You'll also need to be familiar with betting basics, so you know how to handle your money during the game.
ANTE (sounds like "auntie"): This is an amount of money--typically a small amount--that everyone throws into the pot at the beginning of the game to get the cards dealt.
(The pot is the pile of money on the table where everyone places their bets.
) BET: This is the amount you're wagering at the time.
Some card games have multiple chances to bet, others have just one or two.
Most tables have a betting limit, meaning you can only wager a certain amount at one time.
CALL: This means you're matching the bet that's already on the table.
For example, if a player bets one dollar, you would "call" by also putting one dollar into the pot.
(If that bet gets raised, you would "call" again by adding enough money to match the raise amount.
) RAISE: To raise a bet means to increase it.
If the current bet on the table is one dollar, you would put one dollar in the pot PLUS your raise, say, twenty-five cents.
So in total you would put $1.
25 in the pot.
It would then be up to the other players to either call, raise or fold.
FOLD: If you want to drop out of the hand, you fold your cards.
You lose everything you've put into the pot at that point, and the other players continue to finish the hand.