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Improve Your Poker Hands

A game of skill, poker requires the right mix of strategy and luck. It’s not for the weak of heart, and it’s well worth the effort to improve. The divide between break-even beginner players and big-time winners is often not as wide as people think. A few simple adjustments in thinking and a shift in attitude can make the difference.

Learn the rules of poker before you start playing. This includes the types, variants and limits of each poker game. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the terminology used in poker, such as ante, blinds and bring-ins.

Before dealing the cards, one or more players must place an initial amount of money into the pot. These bets are called antes, blinds or bring-ins and are usually placed by the player to the left of the dealer. The dealer then shuffles the cards and deals them to everyone at the table.

As the betting progresses, the highest ranked hand wins the pot. The highest-ranking poker hand is a royal flush, which consists of a king, queen, jack and ace of the same suit in one sequence. A straight flush is 5 consecutive cards of the same suit, while four of a kind is 4 cards of the same rank plus 2 unmatched cards.

Keep in mind that your poker hand is only good or bad in relation to what the other players at your table are holding. For example, pocket kings are fantastic in most situations but when the flop comes up with a pair of 10s, your kings become losers 82% of the time.

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