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The Basics of Poker

The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game of chance and skill, played by two or more players with cards. It is a bluffing and card-swapping game that has many variants and is played in homes, casinos, clubs and on the Internet.


The basic rules of poker are that each player is dealt five cards and is allowed to make a bet, which can either be called or raised. The person with the best hand wins the pot.

Depending on the rules, players may be required to place an initial amount of chips into the pot, which is called an ante. A betting interval begins when the first player to the left makes a bet; each player to the right can then “call” this bet by placing the same number of chips into the pot, or “raise” by putting in more than the previous bettor’s amount.

In addition, some variants permit a player to check, which is to stay in the game without making any further bets. A betting interval ends when the last player to the right has made a bet or when all the players have checked.

Standard hands

The lowest possible poker hand is 7-5-4-3-2 in two or more suits, and the highest is a straight (five cards in sequence), or a full house (three of a kind plus a pair). In a game with wild cards, a tie is broken by a pair of cards of different ranks, which can be a straight or a flush.