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The Basics of Poker

The Basics of Poker

A card game in which players make the best 5-card hand from their own two cards and the five community cards. Players bet on their hand, hoping to win the pot (all the chips that have been bet so far). If a player has the best hand and all of his or her opponents fold, then the player wins the pot.

Poker is often played with a small group of people sitting around a table, each with their own stack of chips (representing money). A round of betting takes place after the players are dealt their cards. The first player to act puts an initial contribution into the pot (representing the money that they are betting with) called an ante.

Each player then has the option to call, check, or fold. If a player calls, then he or she is betting the amount of money that the person to his or her right has raised. Players may also raise the amount of money that they are betting, called an all-in.

The earliest contemporary reference to Poker occurs in J. Hildreth’s Dragoon Campaigns to the Rocky Mountains, published in 1836; but two slightly later publications independently show that the game was well in use by about 1829. In 1904 R F Foster wrote a book Practical Poker, summarizing the fruits of all this research and drawing on other sources, including the Frederick Jessel collection of card-game literature housed at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.