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How to Play the Game of Poker


Poker is a card game that involves betting in order to form a hand based on the cards you have. Each player puts in a bet of some amount, called a blind or an ante, and then is dealt cards. The highest hand at the end of the round wins the pot. The goal of the game is to win the pot by raising bets on your turn and getting other players to fold with a strong hand.

A strong value hand pre-flop can often be played straightforwardly, which is a good idea as it will force your opponents to make bad decisions and overthink their hands, making them more likely to call your bluffs and give you more money. However, don’t play your strong value hands too loosely and risk losing a big pot because of a bad flop.

When it’s your turn to bet, say “raise” to add more money to the pot and force others to either call your raise or fold. You can also say “check” to match the last player’s bet and stay in the hand, or “fold” if you don’t have a good enough hand to compete for the pot. The divide between break-even beginner players and big-time winners is not as wide as people think, but it does require making a few simple adjustments to your approach to the game. In particular, it’s important to start viewing the game in a more cold, detached, and mathematical way than you do now.