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The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game with millions of fans. The goal of the game is to win a hand by making the highest ranked card combination using your own two cards and the five community cards. The player with the highest ranked hand wins the “pot” which is all of the chips that have been bet during the hand.

The game is played with a standard 52-card English deck. Each player has a fixed amount of money to bet, called the “pot”. Players begin the hand by paying an up-front bet, known as an ante. A dealer is responsible for shuffling and dealing the cards to each player. Some games require a fixed amount of blind bets (again, the amount varies by game). These are placed into a pot in front of each player before the cards are dealt.

When betting gets around to you, you can choose to call, raise, or fold. A “call” means you want to stay in the hand and match the previous player’s bet. A “raise” means you want to add more money to the pot.

When the final betting phase is over, players reveal their hands. The best hand wins the pot and all of the bets that were made during that round. A player can also choose to bluff during this phase, pretending that their hand is higher than it is. This is called “raising” and can be effective if done correctly.