The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players wager money (representing chips) on the outcome of a hand. The game has hundreds of variants, but the following rules generally apply:

A player begins a hand by “buying in” for a set amount. The chips used in Poker are typically white and range from the lightest to the darkest, with each color representing a different value. For example, a white chip is worth one minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and so on.

After purchasing their chips, each player is dealt an equal number of cards. The player who receives the first card becomes the dealer; he or she must offer the shuffled pack to his or her opponent to the right for a cut, which may be refused.

The object of the game is to win the “pot,” which is the total of all bets made during a particular betting interval. The pot may be won by any player who puts into the pot enough chips to call a bet made by the player before him. If a player does not put in enough chips to call a bet, he or she must “drop” and lose any rights to the pot.

The rules of Poker are not always observed accurately, and players often resort to tricks to gain advantage. These include attempting to see the hole cards of other players, hiding their high-value chips, and counting or moving their chips closer to the middle.

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