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The Basics of Poker

The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game for two or more players and uses a standard 52-card pack plus some cards called jokers. The aim of the game is to win the “pot” – all bets made during a hand – by having the highest ranked poker hand. The winning player’s hand is not revealed so that other players cannot know if he or she has been bluffing.

Each player has two cards which are his or her own and five community cards which are shared by all players. A hand is a combination of these cards and the player’s own bet (or ‘chips’) which he or she places in the pot during betting intervals.

The first player to the left of the dealer button has the turn to deal and then to bet. The button moves one place clockwise after each hand is dealt. Players must bet at least the amount that the player to their left has contributed to the pot.

The best poker hands are high pairs, three of a kind, straights and flushes (all of the cards in these hands must be of the same rank) or superior singletons such as kings and queens. A high card also breaks ties in the event of a tie. A player must have at least a pair of cards to be eligible to make a bet. A ‘low’ pair has two distinct cards of the same rank and an unmatched third card.