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The Basics of Poker


Poker is a family of card games that can be played around the world. Each game has its own rules, but they all share certain essential features.

Players start the game by placing a forced bet. This bet is usually an ante or blind bet (sometimes both).

The dealer then shuffles the cards and deals them to each player one at a time, starting with the person on the left. After the initial deal, betting rounds are held in a series of intervals.

After each round, the bets are gathered into a central pot and the highest hand wins the pot. The highest hand is determined by comparing the player’s poker hand to other hands in the pot.

If no one has a higher hand, the next player to act acts first. In some variants, this person must draw additional cards from the deck.

In some forms, a player may also choose to fold or fold out. When a player folds out, he is no longer in the pot and cannot compete for the pot.

Most poker variations are played with a fixed number of players, but some are designed to accommodate more than six or seven. For example, a game called deuces wild allows any card with the “2” designation to be used as the fifth or kicker.