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How to Play Poker

Poker is a game of cards where players place bets on their hands. The object of the game is to win the pot (the sum of all bets made on a hand). There are many variations of the game, but they all use the same basic principles.

Players deal themselves a number of cards face-down, then take turns betting on their hands. The player who has the highest-ranking hand wins. The game can be played with as few as two people, but the ideal number is six.

Each player has the option of opening or raising the bet when it’s their turn. If you raise a bet, the person to your left must match your bet or fold. If you want to call, you must put the same amount of money into the pot as the last player did. If you don’t want to call, you can say “check” and pass your turn.

A pair of cards is worth the most. A high pair is worth more than a low pair. If you have a high pair, you can raise the bet and possibly win more money.

You can also try to make a straight, which is five consecutive cards of the same rank. This is more difficult to achieve than a flush, but you can still win if you have the highest card of the five in your hand. You can also have four of a kind, which is just four cards of the same rank.