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The Basics of Poker


The game of poker is played with two hands, each having two community cards. A player may start with an ante, or money they’ve put into the pot before. Once the cards are dealt, each player may bet into the pot, or stay in the hand and check out without betting. If a player checks out, it’s considered a passive action, but in many poker variants, the last player to check out is the active player.

Each player begins by placing a blind or ante bet. The dealer then passes out a hand to each player. The dealer may also create a community card pile to play with. Once everyone has made a bet, each player can bet in the same amount, or raise their bet. A player can also fold, which is the last option, after the round is over. A player who folds effectively exits the game, losing all money bet during the round.

The final round of betting ends with a showdown, in which players reveal their hands clockwise around the table. The winner of the round is determined by the highest hand. A player can win the pot by holding a pair of aces, but the best five-card hand is always the winner. In a traditional poker game, all players receive seven cards, but in a five-card variant, the player with the highest hand wins the pot.