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A game of Poker involves betting and raising a hand. It is a fast-paced card game that can be played with just a few people around a table or in large tournaments with thousands of players. There are many variations of Poker, but cash games and tournament play are the most common. Regardless of which variation is being played, a full deck of cards is dealt to each player and they bet in one round with raising and re-raising allowed.

The first thing to do when playing poker is shuffle the deck of cards and place them down in front of each player. Next, each player must decide whether to ante. An ante is the amount of chips each player puts into the pot before being dealt any cards. A player can also say “I open” to raise the ante.

When a player calls a bet, they must put in the same amount of chips as the player to their right. Players can also raise the bet or drop out of the hand, called folding. If a player folds, they lose any chips that they have put into the pot.

The most common poker hands are pairs, three of a kind, four of a kind, straights and flushes. A pair consists of two matching cards, a three of a kind is 3 cards of the same rank, a straight is five consecutive cards and a flush is any 5 of the same suit. Although Poker has a significant element of chance, most professional players understand that long term success is based on a combination of skill, psychology and game theory.