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The Basics of Poker

The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game of chance and skill in which players place bets against each other, with chips representing money. The player with the highest poker hand wins the pot. The game can be played with one or more players, and the cards are dealt face up or down, depending on the variant of poker being played.

Before the hand begins each player is required to make a forced bet, this is called an ante or blind bet. The ante is then placed into the pot in turn by the players as the betting intervals take place. During each betting interval a single player (determined by the rules of the particular poker game being played) has the privilege or obligation to place in the pot at least the same amount as the previous player(s).

After the antes have been placed, each player is dealt five cards. Depending on the poker variant being played some of these cards may be shared by all players, while others are kept private and used to form the player’s final poker hand.

The most common poker hands are a full house, straight, flush, and three of a kind. A full house is made up of three matching cards of the same rank, a straight contains 5 consecutive cards of the same suit, and a flush is any five cards of the same suit (such as Ace-King-9-8). Depending on the rules of the specific poker game being played some poker hands can also be composed of two pairs of cards and one unmatched card.