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The Basics of Poker


Poker is a gambling game that uses cards. Players place bets in the pot before their cards are dealt, then take turns revealing their hands. The player with the best hand wins the pot.

There are many different variations of the game, but in general the aim is to make the best five-card hand at the end of the round. Ties are broken by the highest card.


The game is played from a standard 52-card pack, sometimes with the addition of jokers, which are usually dealt face up. Two packs are sometimes used to speed up play, but most clubs and most professional players prefer the traditional one-pack method.

A “deal” begins by shuffled decks being passed around the table clockwise, with each dealer dealing one card face up to each active player. After the deal is finished, a betting interval occurs; after each interval there is a showdown.

Unlike other gambling games, players do not bet or raise money by more than a certain number of chips; this limit is usually established in advance. It varies with the stage of the game, for example, five before a draw and ten after a draw.

Rules for superiority of hands

Each poker variant has a unique set of rules to govern the way players bet and act. However, all variants have a common feature: every player must put down a certain amount of money before they begin the game. This amount is called a buy-in, and it is typically paid to the winner of the game.