Taking Risks in Poker
There are dozens of different poker games, but they all share the same basic mechanic: players put chips into a pot and can win them or lose them. They also take risks and must deal with the uncertainty of a future outcome.
The game usually starts with a blind bet or an ante, which players place before being dealt cards. Then players can choose to call (match the amount of the previous bettor), raise, or fold. Depending on the rules, they might also draw replacement cards after each betting round.
A player’s goal is to make the best five-card hand, which can be made from any combination of their two personal cards and the five community cards on the table. A full house contains three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank, while a flush contains five consecutive cards of the same suit.
In addition, a player can use a single card to create a straight. If they have two matching pairs, they can also create a three-of-a-kind.
Taking risks is essential in poker, Just says, because players must invest resources before the outcome is known. “As you get more information, you need to continue making good decisions,” she adds. “And that’s a skill that you can practice and learn.”
She recommends that students and young professionals develop their comfort with risk-taking through small risks in lower-stakes situations. Then, they can apply those lessons in higher-stakes situations as needed. “Some of those risks will fail, but you’ll be able to learn from them,” she says.