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The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that is played with a standard deck of 52 cards (some games use more than one deck and have a few jokers added). The ranked cards are Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

High-ranking hands beat low-ranking ones. Rank is determined by odds (probability).

The 10 standard kinds of hands are: pairs, straight flush, full house, four of a kind, three of a kind, two pair, high card, and nothing. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched card or by the secondary pair (in a full house).

Wild cards, if available, can be used to create different hands. They may also be used to break ties when the high hands are identical and can only be broken by a different high card.

Each player starts the game with a stack of chips. The players bet in turns until they have all their chips or everyone folds.

Players can call if they want to match the last bet, raise if they want to increase their bet, or fold if they don’t want to bet any more. When a player folds, they give up their right to the pot; if someone raises after he or she folds, that person wins the pot.

Poker can be a fast-paced game or a slow, leisurely activity. The rules vary by variant, but in most cases the player with the highest hand at the end of the betting rounds wins the pot.