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The Basics of Poker

The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that involves betting. Each player has five cards that form a poker hand. The value of a hand is determined in inverse proportion to its mathematical frequency, and players may bluff by betting that they have superior hands, forcing other players to call their bets or fold.

A standard poker hand consists of any five consecutive cards of the same suit (eights, kings, queens, etc). A straight is five consecutive cards in rank but from different suits. Three of a kind is three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. A pair is two cards of the same rank and an unmatched card. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched card or the second-highest pair.

During the first round of betting each player must decide whether to raise or check his hand. If he checks, the dealer will put down the third community card on the table, which is called the “turn.” Everyone gets another chance to bet.

If the last player to act cannot raise his stake to match that of the previous raiser, he must fold. If no player chooses to fold, the remaining cards are revealed, and the player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot. If there are more than one winning hand, the players share any money won.