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How to Play Poker

How to Play Poker


Generally, Poker is played with a deck of 52 cards. The number of cards per hand varies according to the game variation. The deck is usually dealt clockwise around the table, with a dedicated dealer button to indicate the starting position.

The first player to the left of the dealer button makes the first bet. Then, players may “raise” the bet by putting additional chips into the pot. The bettor with the highest ranking poker hand takes the pot.

The dealer deals the cards in turn. Each player may discard up to three cards. The cards are then shuffled.

Each player receives one card face-down, unless the game is a two-handed game. Some games are played with less than five cards, such as Three-Card Monte.

A betting interval occurs after each round of dealing. The betting intervals typically last for two or more rounds. At the end of the betting interval, the players have equal numbers of chips in the pot. If any player raises or checks, the betting interval is interrupted.

The next betting interval begins when the player to the left of the dealer button posts a small or big blind. The player who has the lowest hand is said to “check”. A player who does not check can stay in the game, but he must discard his cards and put in the same amount of chips as before.

If the player to the left of the dealer bets, the other players must “call” the bet. If none of the players calls, then the player who checked becomes the new bettor.