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The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game with many variations. It is typically played by a group of people around a table and betting continues until one person has all the chips or everyone folds. Players can bet by raising, calling or checking. They can also put their entire stack of chips into the pot, a bet that may have special rules depending on the game.

The object of the game is to win a hand of cards by having the highest-ranked hand when everyone has revealed their cards. The winner of the hand wins the pot, or all the money that was bet during that deal. If there is a tie among the highest hands, the pot is divided evenly among players with those hands.

A poker hand consists of five cards. The highest hand is a Royal flush (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of the same suit). A straight is five consecutive cards of the same rank. A three of a kind is three distinct cards of the same rank. A pair is two distinct cards of the same rank. The high card breaks ties.

Each player starts the game by “buying in” a certain number of poker chips. These are usually white chips worth the minimum ante, or red chips worth either a single unit of the ante, or multiple units of the ante depending on the game. Some games have wild cards, such as deuces or one-eyed jacks, which can substitute for any other card to make a better hand.