The Basics of Poker

Poker is a betting card game that mixes the ability to read opponents and predict odds with the skill of keeping a cool demeanor while making big bluffs. It is played with a minimum bet of 2 chips which are called blinds or antes, put in by the players to the left of the dealer. After the ante is in, the players are dealt cards, which they keep hidden from their opponents. The object of the game is to get your opponents to believe that you have a strong hand, and to get them to call your bets with weak hands.

The first round of betting begins after the players have received their two hole cards, called the flop. After the flop, an additional card is added to the board for everyone to use called the turn. Then another betting interval begins with the player to the left of the dealer.

During each betting interval a player may choose to Check (match the previous bet and stay in the hand) or Raise (put in more than the last bet and go into the pot). There are often several rounds of betting in each deal, and each player has a maximum amount that they can raise to the size of the current pot. A player can also Fold if they don’t want to play their hand. Poker math such as frequency calculations and EV estimation becomes a natural part of the game after you’ve played a few hands.

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