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How to Play Poker

Poker is a card game that involves chance. However, winning a hand is more than just chance – it’s also a combination of game theory, psychology and probability. Many of the best players in poker are able to make money over the long term by playing smart, disciplined hands. The secret is to play your cards and the situation rather than relying on tricky systems that don’t always work. Practice and watch experienced players to develop quick instincts.

How to Play Poker

The dealer passes out 2 cards to each player, including himself. After everyone has a pair of cards they start betting. If you want to stay in the hand say “Stay.” If your cards are low in value, like two 3s for instance, then you can double up by saying “Hit.”

After the first betting round is over the dealer deals a third card on the table face-up that anyone can use (these are called community cards). When this happens people can bet again. If you have a strong hand then you can raise by matching the previous player’s bet. If you don’t have a strong hand you can fold by saying “Check.”

You should try to avoid limping because this will often be a mistake. Most top players fast-play their strong hands because they know that raising builds the pot and chases off other players who might be waiting for a stronger draw than yours. Remember that your hand strength is only as good as the other player’s – a pocket pair of kings on a bad board can be a losing hand 82% of the time.

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