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The Basics of Poker

A game of card skill and strategy, Poker can be played with two or more players and involves betting on the strength of one’s hand. It is widely considered to be the most popular card game in the world, and it has many variants.

A player is dealt two cards, known as hole cards, and then five community cards are dealt in stages — three cards, referred to as the flop; an additional card, called the turn; and finally, the fifth community card, referred to as the river. Players may then choose to discard these cards or leave them in place and continue betting on their hands.

Betting intervals take place between each deal, with one player (as designated by the rules of the particular variant being played) having the privilege or obligation to make the first bet, and then each player must either match that bet or raise it. A player who raises a bet may also add additional chips to the pot.

Players can also check, which means they do not want to participate in the hand, or call, meaning that they will put chips into the pot equal to the amount raised by the person before them. If someone calls and does not have a good enough hand, they will forfeit their chips and the remaining players will reveal their cards. The winner is declared based on the best hand among those who participated in the hand.