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The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that can be played with two or more players. In most forms of poker a player must ante something (amount varies by game) to get dealt cards and then bet into the pot in order to win the hand. The betting is typically done in a clockwise fashion starting with the player to the immediate left of the dealer.

After the flop is revealed there will be another round of betting which starts with the player to the immediate left of the button. It is best to bet strongly when you have a strong hand pre-flop as this will force weaker hands to fold. It is important not to be too attached to good hands like pocket kings and queens though because an unlucky flop can ruin them.

The highest hand wins the pot. If there is a tie then the highest pair wins. Two pairs is made up of two cards each of a different rank and the highest of these wins. Three of a kind is made up of three cards of the same rank and two other unmatched cards. A straight is five cards in sequence but not all from the same suit and the highest card gives the value of the hand.

The game requires quick instincts and the more you play, watch others play, and learn how to read the other players, the better you will become. You should always be careful to understand your opponent’s range though. This is because sometimes a good player will call every time a bluff is made and then they will re-raise on the river when they have nothing to defend their hand with.