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How to Play Poker

How to Play Poker

A game of poker is a card game in which players make wagers on the chance of having a winning hand. There are a wide variety of poker games, some involving more than five cards, and the game can be played in a number of ways, including bluffing. Some games also allow players to change their wager during the course of a hand.

The game is played with a standard pack of 52 cards (although some games may use multiple packs or add wild cards). The cards are ranked from highest to lowest: Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10. There are four suits: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs, but the suit does not affect the value of a hand.

Before the cards are dealt, each player places an amount of money into the pot, called an ante or blind bet. Players can also choose to raise the bet, adding more chips to the pot than their opponent did. A player can only raise a bet once per round, but this rule is not always strictly enforced.

After the ante and blind bets are placed, three cards are dealt to each player. Each player then decides to play or fold his hand. A strong starting hand is important, such as a pair of Aces or Kings, and weak hands should be folded as soon as possible. The player to the left of the dealer leads each betting round. In the event of a tie, the higher second highest card breaks the tie.