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The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played by a group of players in which the highest hand wins the pot. Each player starts with two cards hidden from the others. Then there is a round of betting (initiated by 2 mandatory bets called blinds placed into the pot by the two players to their left). Once the betting gets around to you, you can call, raise, or drop. If you raise, the players to your left must either call your bet or drop out of the hand.

A good poker game requires a lot of attention to detail and learning how to read your opponents, or as they are more commonly known in the poker world as “tells.” These tells don’t just include physical cues like fiddling with their chips or a ring, but also the way that a player plays. For example, a player who normally calls a bet but suddenly raises is likely holding an unbeatable hand.

Once the betting is done, the dealer will deal five community cards face up. Then there is a new betting interval, starting with the player to their left. The new betting interval is usually based on the number of chips a player has placed into the pot in previous betting intervals, but may vary according to the rules of your game.

Remember, the best poker hands are ones that support a large amount of betting. So bet big! If you do it often enough, your opponent will assume that you have a strong hand and might not even bother to fold.