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The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players have 2 cards that are dealt to them, and then 5 community cards are revealed. Each player aims to make the best 5 card hand they can using their two personal cards and the community cards.

Each player has chips that they use to place bets on the hand. There are different types of bets that can be placed depending on the type of poker being played. Players can check (pass on the opportunity to bet), call (place a bet equal to the one that was made by the previous player) or raise (place a bet which is higher than the last player did).

Reading your opponents is an essential part of being a good poker player. There are many books dedicated to this subject, and everyone from psychologists to law enforcement officials have spoken about the importance of reading facial expressions and body language. In poker, learning to read your opponents is a little bit more specific – it is about understanding what they are telling you through their actions and how they are moving their hands.

As you can see, Poker is a game of chance, but when betting is introduced, it becomes more of a game of skill and psychology. Learn to play your strong value hands as straightforwardly as possible, and don’t be afraid to bluff occasionally (but don’t bluff just for the sake of it). Also, by being the last player to act, you can inflate the pot size when you have a strong value hand, or exercise pot control when you have a weak or drawing hand.