The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played between a number of players. The object of the game is to win the pot, which is the sum of all bets made during a single deal. A player may win the pot by having a high-ranking hand, or by making a bet that no one else calls. The game can be played by any number of players, from two to 14. In most forms of the game, each player must ante an amount before being dealt cards. Then, in betting intervals, each player may choose to call, raise, or fold his hand.

The highest poker hand is a royal flush, which includes an Ace, King, Queen, and Jack of the same suit. The second highest is four of a kind, which consists of four cards of the same rank. The third highest is a straight, which consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit. The lowest hand is a pair, which consists of two identical cards. If two hands have the same ranking, they tie and the pot is divided equally.

Many poker variants allow players to bluff, which is a tactic used to try to make other players believe that the bluffer has a high-ranking hand when it actually does not. Bluffing can be successful if done correctly, and a good bluffer can cause a player to lose more than he or she would have otherwise lost.

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