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The Basics of Poker

The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players wager and compete for the pot, or prize money. The value of a hand is in inverse relation to the frequency of its occurrence, and betting forces players to disclose their cards or bluff in order to win. The rules vary between games and variations of the game, but most involve a single round of betting.

To begin a hand, the dealer shuffles the deck and then deals five cards to each player, face down. Each player then places an ante into the pot before betting begins. During a hand, a player may say “call” or “raise” to add more to the pot. A player may also choose to “fold” if they don’t have a good hand.

The highest hand in poker is a royal flush, which consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit. Four of a kind is simply four cards of the same rank, and a straight is five consecutive cards of the same suit. Three of a kind is three cards of the same rank, and two pair is two cards of the same rank, plus another card (for example, J-8-5-3 of spades). Ties are broken by following high card rules.

Some poker variants require a forced bet before the first round of betting, called a blind. The player to the left of the dealer button places the small blind, and the player two positions to their left puts in the big blind.