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How to Play Poker


Poker is a game that involves betting with a set of cards. The goal is to make the best five-card hand you can in order to win the pot. This can be done through bluffing or by simply getting lucky. The game has many variations and the best way to learn is by playing a lot of hands. The ideal number is anywhere from 6-12 hands per hour depending on the player.

To play a hand of poker you need to place an initial amount into the pot called an ante or blind. After this everyone gets two cards face down. Then the players decide whether to call, raise or fold. If a player folds they can only watch as the rest of the table battles it out for the remaining cards in the deck.

Once the first round of betting is complete the dealer will deal three more cards face up on the table. These are community cards that anyone can use to build a poker hand. Once these are dealt a third betting round takes place. Then the final card is dealt, this is known as the river.

When playing poker it is important to be able to read other players and their betting patterns. This can be done by observing subtle physical tells and also by paying attention to betting patterns. For example if a player always calls the bets they are likely playing some weak hands and can be easily bluffed into folding.

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