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The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players bet on the strength of their hands and win the pot (the total of all betting actions). There are many variations of poker. Most involve betting between two and four players. The game may be played with as few as two cards and as many as 14 cards. In most forms the game involves a minimum amount of money called the ante that players must place in order to play. This amount is placed into the pot before the cards are dealt.

Players can also raise their own bets during the hand. This is known as bluffing. This can be successful if other players believe that you have a strong hand and do not call your bets. However, a good poker player knows when to fold and will usually only bluff when they are in position.

After everyone has acted in one round the dealer deals three cards face up on the table. These are community cards that anyone can use. This is the flop. A second round of betting ensues and once again everyone gets the chance to check, call, raise or fold.

If you call the bet made by the person to your right, you are saying that you will bet the same amount as them. This is a standard phrase that indicates your intention to place chips or cash into the pot. If you want to add more than the last person’s bet, say “raise.” In some cases this might not work and you will need to fold.