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A Beginner’s Guide to Poker

Poker is a card game with rules that can vary from country to country. It is a popular gambling game and takes skill to play.

The Dealer

A poker dealer, also known as a “poker croupier,” is responsible for shuffling the cards and dealing them to each player, typically in multiple rounds. Depending on the rules of the game, players may be required to place an initial amount of money into the pot called an ante before the cards are dealt.

Betting Rounds

Each betting interval, or round, begins when a player, in turn, makes a bet (by “calling” or by “raising”) that equals the ante or amount of the previous bet. During the same interval, other players to the left of the first player must call, raise or fold; if no opponent calls or raises, the bet is won by the player who opened the round.


The goal of poker is to have the best five-card hand. The highest possible hand is a straight (five cards in sequence, usually any suit). Other hands are full houses, flushes and two pairs.


The ability to bluff, or to trick other players into thinking that a certain hand is stronger than it actually is, is the key to winning at poker. It requires patience and skill, as well as a good understanding of probability and psychology.


Some players, particularly those with a good poker face, will often stare at you intently. This can be intimidating, but it is something that you need to learn to deal with.