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The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of chance but it also has a lot of psychology and skill involved. It is a great card game to play with friends and can be very entertaining. However, before you can be successful at poker you need to know the basics and understand how the game works. The first step is learning the rules and what hands beat what.

After all of the players have their cards, there are one or more betting intervals depending on the poker variant being played. The player that has the best hand after the flop, turn, and river is the winner of the round and wins the pot. The rest of the players lose their money.

During the pre-flop and flop betting intervals, each player has the choice to call (match the amount that was bet by the person before him), raise (amount that is raised above the previous amount), or fold (give up and lose their original money). Players should be aware of the players around them and learn their tells; for example, if someone calls every time you make a raise it could mean they have an amazing hand.

Once the flop, turn, and river betting is over the dealer will put a fifth community card on the board that everyone can use. At this point it is usually safe to assume that the best hand is a Straight, Three of a Kind, or Two Pairs. To determine the winning hand, players compare their pairs by looking at the rank of their highest pair; if no higher ranking pair is present then the rank of the unmatched card is compared.

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