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Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players wager money on the outcome of their hands. The game has many variants, but the basic rules are the same in all of them. The objective is to have the highest-ranking hand at the end of a betting round. This involves minimizing losses with poor hands and maximising winnings with good ones.

Depending on the game rules, one or more players must put an initial amount of money into the pot before the cards are dealt. This is known as a forced bet, and it usually takes the form of an ante, a blind, or a bring-in. The bets made in each round of betting are gathered into a pool called the pot, which may or may not include the player who placed the first bet in that round.

When it’s your turn, you can say “call” to match the last bet and place a bet of equal size in front of your chips or cash. You can also say “raise” to add more money to the bet. The other players can then choose whether to call your raise or fold their cards.

When the flop comes and you have a weak hand, check and fold rather than continuing to bet at it. This will make it harder for other players to bluff at your weak hand.