The game of poker involves a great deal of chance and luck, but there are certain hands that tend to win more often than others. As a result it is important to learn the rules of the game and understand how to read your opponent. The more you play, and observe experienced players, the better your instincts will become.

To begin, each player must ‘ante’ money into the pot (amount varies by game; in our games it is usually a nickel). Once everyone has acted and there is enough money in the pot to cover all bets, the dealer deals each player 2 cards face down. There is a betting round after each card is dealt, starting with the player to the left of the dealer.

Once the first betting round is complete, the dealer will deal 3 additional cards on the table that are all community cards that anyone can use. This is called the flop. This is another betting round and the player with the best 5 card hand wins the pot.

If you have a good poker hand after the flop, you should be raising to price out weaker hands. Don’t be afraid to raise even if you only have a pair of kings; a well placed bluff can make your opponent fold a good poker hand! It is important to understand how different poker hands beat each other, as this can help you figure out when it is worth calling a bet or raising your own.

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