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The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game of skill that has become one of the world’s most popular forms of entertainment. It is played both for money and as a recreational activity. The game’s history dates back centuries and there are many interesting stories to tell about its rich tradition.

In the poker game, cards are dealt to each player, two face-down and one face-up. After each player has received his cards, the players begin betting. The first player to act places chips into the pot (representing the amount of money that he is willing to risk) equal to the total contribution of the players who have already placed their chips into the pot. This is called “calling.”

The highest-ranking poker hand is the Royal Flush, which consists of a Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit. The second-highest poker hand is Three of a Kind, which is made up of three cards with the same value and two unrelated cards. The next highest poker hand is a Straight, which is five consecutive cards of any suit in uninterrupted order of value, such as A-2-3-4-5-7.

When playing poker, try to keep your cards in sight at all times. Holding your cards below the table can be perceived as suspicious, because it suggests that you may be marking them or switching them with a card up your sleeve. Also, don’t dig through the deck after a hand is over to see what other players had in their hands—it slows down the game and can be annoying to other players.