The Basics of Poker

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A game of cards played between 2 or more people, poker involves betting over a series of rounds and culminates in a showdown to determine the winner (the player with the highest-ranked poker hand). It is considered a card game of skill and psychology rather than luck. There are many different poker variants, but the core principles are similar.

The game starts with each player being dealt two cards. When it is their turn they can choose to call or raise a previous bet, or fold their hand by sliding it away face down. If they fold, they forfeit their chips in that particular hand and are not eligible to win the pot unless another player calls their bet.

Each player must have at least the same number of chips as the player before them to be eligible to participate in the next betting interval. The player who makes the first bet can “call” or raise his or her stake to make a bet, or they can simply drop out and not play for the rest of the deal.

The objective of the game is to use the cards you are dealt and the community cards to create a five-card poker hand. The best hands consist of pairs or higher, such as three distinct pairs, a flush, a straight, or a full house. A high card breaks ties when multiple players have pairs. The joker does not count as a pair, but may be used to complete a straight or certain other poker hands.

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