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The Basics of Poker

The game of poker is a card game where the aim is to have the highest ranked five-card hand when all the cards are shown. The player with the best hand wins the pot – all of the money that has been put into the betting over the course of the hand. The first player to bet puts in their chips and then the players to their left must either call that amount, raise it or fold.

Once the ante is placed and the cards are dealt everyone starts betting with their hands. If you have a weak hand then you should fold because your opponents will see you as easy pickings and they will shove around you until you start to bet more aggressively.

When you have a strong hand then you should raise as often as possible. This will put pressure on your opponents and force them to think twice about calling your bets.

Once you have raised the stakes then it’s time for the flop. The dealer will place three more cards on the table face up which are community cards that anyone can use in their hand. If you have a good hand then it will improve but if you have a weak one then the flop could kill it.

Pay attention to other players’ actions and study their tells. Look for body language, idiosyncrasies and betting behavior to pick up on their intentions. This will allow you to make better decisions in the future as you play.