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The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of chance played with cards and chips. The rules are simple: You must call (match) a bet, raise (increase) a bet, or fold your hand.

Poker requires patience and understanding. The best players are able to calculate pot odds and percentages quickly and quietly, have the patience to wait for optimal hands and proper position, and know when to quit a game and try again another day.

Betting rounds: Each round of betting begins with an ante, which is a pre-determined amount of money. After a certain number of betting rounds or after all the players have folded, the cards are exposed and the player with the highest hand wins the pot.

The flop: After each round of betting, the dealer places one card on the board and everyone gets a chance to bet/check/raise/fold. When all players have checked or the dealer has dealt a fourth card, a “river” is played and again, all players get a chance to bet/check/raise/fold.

A full house is made when you have three of a kind and a pair. A flush is a five-card hand with any suit, and a straight is a run of five cards regardless of suit. The most common winning poker hand is a pair of Kings, Queens or Aces, but if two players have the same combination, the high card breaks the tie.