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The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that gains quite a bit of skill when betting is introduced. It is a game of chance (when no money is at risk) but when the stakes are high it becomes more a game of psychology and deception than luck. This article is a basic primer into the rules of poker but for a more in-depth look at how to play it and how to improve your skills we recommend getting a good book on the subject or joining a group that knows how to play.

When cards are dealt there is a round of betting that starts with 2 mandatory bets put into the pot by the players to the left of the dealer. Players can then check, which means they pass on betting or raise which is adding more chips to the pot than the player before them.

After the betting is complete the dealer deals three cards face up on the table that anyone can use, these are called the flop. There is another round of betting and the player with the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot.

A key skill to develop is bet sizing, this is a complex process and involves taking into account stack depth, previous action, position at the table and more. Mastering this can take some time. A player that makes a bet that is too high will scare other players away while a bet that is too low may not earn you as much profit as it could have.