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Poker Basics

Poker is a popular casino game with many interesting variations played all over the world. Basically poker is played with a standard deck of 52 cards comprising of thirteen different ranks of cards, which goes like this (from high to low) – Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2. Aces can be either high or low, depending on how the player wants to use it. All of these cards come in 4 different suites named Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades. There is no ranking in the suites. Some other variants of poker include additional cards such as jokers or ‘wild’ cards.

A typical game of poker is played in three betting rounds and involves a common fund, called ‘POT’, where all the bets are placed. However, the number of betting rounds and card draws depends on what version of game you’re playing and where.

All the players playing poker are dealt cards in clockwise direction. Once the cards are dealt, the betting round takes place. Generally, players either ante (put a stake into the pool before receiving a hand or before have new cards) or make blind bets into the POT. In the end, every player should conclude a betting round contributing an equal amount to the pot.

Now, once the cards are dealt, the players are left with the following four options:

1. Check: If you are the first to play and no other players have made any bets in that round, you may choose to bet nothing and pass the turn to the next opponent.
2. Call: If the bet has been made already, you can match the previous bet and continue playing.
3. Raise: If there is a bet on the table, a player can raise the bet. To raise means to increase the amount of the previous bet.
4. Fold: If you think your hand is not as good as your opponents’, you can choose to fold the hand and forfeit the ante bet.

As stated earlier, the betting round will end when all the players have contributed same amount to the pot. Whether the next card action will take place or not, depends on what version of poker you are playing. For example, in draw style poker games, players can discard one card and receive a fresh in its place. In Hold’em poker, the dealer will turn over the next card(s) to be displayed. In stud style poker versions, each player is dealt an additional card.

Every version of poker has a set number of betting rounds and card draws, which may vary from game to game. Once all the bets are placed, its time for showdown! All the players reveal their hand and the player with the highest ranking hand is awarded the pot.

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