Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that involves chance and risk. There are dozens of variations of poker, but the basic mechanics remain the same. Players put in forced bets (usually an ante and/or a blind bet) before being dealt cards. From there, the bets go into a pot and each player can choose to either call, raise, or fold. The main goal of the players is to make bets that have positive expected value and/or bluff others for strategic reasons.

To begin a betting round, the players must check their cards. When it’s your turn to check, you say “check” or “I check”. This means that you’re matching the previous player’s bet and want to stay in the hand. If you want to raise the bet amount, you must say “raise” or “I raise”.

A “high” hand is a pair or better. A “low” hand is two cards of the same rank. A “flush” is 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. A “straight” is 5 cards of equal rank but from more than one suit.

A “high-card” hand wins ties. A high-card is a card that is the highest in your hand. It breaks ties when no other hand beats it. If no other hands are high, then the next highest card breaks the tie.

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