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The Basics of Poker


Poker is a family of card games that are played worldwide. The rules of each game vary, but most variants require players to make a bet to begin play. During betting rounds, players may fold (remove their bet), call or match the bet of another player, or raise.

The first round of cards is dealt to each player face-up. This is usually done by the dealer, who shuffles and deals to each player one at a time, starting with the player to his left.

After the deal, each player is able to see and discard up to three of their cards and replace them with new ones from the top of the deck. The next round of betting is followed by a final showdown where the player holding the best hand wins.

Standard poker hands rank from highest to lowest based on their odds, or probability. Two or more identical hands, called ties, divide any winning equally. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched cards or secondary pairs.

Various other poker types exist, such as seven-card stud and razz. Some of these, like razz, allow players to make a variety of different combinations of their hands; others, such as seven-card stud, require them to make the best possible five-card hand.

Bluffing is an important feature of poker. It allows players to win without having a very strong hand, by making it appear that they have the strongest hand when in fact they don’t.