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The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that has millions of players worldwide. It is played online and in casinos. It has a long history, dates back to centuries, and is set to keep growing in popularity.

The game begins with each player having two cards face down. The player to the left of the big blind is first to act (fold, call, or raise) by putting an amount into the pot that is equal to the amount of the big blind. The dealer then “burns” one card from the top of the deck and deals the first three community cards (the flop) face up to the table.

During each betting interval, the first player to make a bet is called to call and any player who makes more than that bet is called to raise. If no players raise, the player who made the last bet can “check,” or stay in the hand without making a further bet.

The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. The hand is usually formed from the highest-ranking of the five cards dealt to each player. A straight is often used as the final showdown, but poker has many variations and can be played with any combination of cards.