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A Beginner’s Guide to Poker

Poker is a game of strategy and chance that’s played in glitzy casinos and seedy dives, at home with friends or online with strangers. The game has a long history and is very popular today. Players put chips into the pot when betting comes around and the highest hand wins the pot. There are many ways to play poker and a wide range of skill levels from beginner to expert. Getting good at poker requires patience and learning to read the opponents. There are many resources available online including simple articles, videos and books that explain strategy.

Most poker games start with players putting in a mandatory bet called the blinds (the amount varies by game). Two players to the left of the dealer then get 2 cards face down and begin betting. After a round of betting the 3rd card, called the flop, is dealt. This is followed by another betting round.

A high hand consists of a pair (2 distinct cards) or three of a kind (3 of the same rank cards). A flush consists of 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. A straight is five cards of consecutive rank but from more than one suit. A high card breaks ties when no other hand qualifies. You can bluff in poker by pretending that you have a strong hand when in reality you have nothing. This makes your opponent think that you have a strong hand and they will fold.

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