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The Basics of Poker

The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game in which players wager money, called chips, on the outcome of a hand. The game can be played in a number of ways. The game is normally played with an ante, a blind bet, and raises. The antes, bets, and raises are collectively known as the pot. Each player is required to place a certain amount of chips into the pot before the cards are dealt, depending on the rules of the particular game being played. A player who bets less than the amount raised by the previous bettor is said to call, and one who bets more is said to raise.

After the initial forced bets (antes, blinds, or bring-ins) are made, the dealer shuffles and cuts the deck. Then the cards are dealt to each player, beginning with the player to their left. Depending on the game, the cards may be dealt face up or face down.

During each betting interval the first player to act places a bet. A player who bets exactly the same amount as the player to his or her right is said to call, and one who bets higher than the previous bettor is said to raise.

During the flop, turn and river betting rounds it is essential to be aggressive with your betting. This forces weaker hands to fold and allows you to bluff more easily. You must also take note of the other players’ cards. If the flop shows lots of suits like spades you should be wary even with a strong pocket hand such as a pair of Kings.