The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that involves betting. The object of the game is to win the pot, which is the total of all bets made in a single deal. Players can place bets using chips or cash. The game can be played with as few as 2 players, but it is best for 6-8. It is also common for a group of players to establish a special fund called the “kitty,” which is used for paying for new decks of cards or food and drinks. Usually, the kitty is built up by cutting one low-denomination chip from each pot in which there has been more than one raise.

When it is a player’s turn to bet, they may either call the previous player’s bet (which is known as raising) or fold their cards. If a player calls a bet, they must match the amount of money raised by the last person to stay in the game (known as equalizing).

A player who chooses not to call a bet is said to “check.” This means that the player will remain in the game without placing a bet, provided no other players have checked during the same betting interval.

In some poker games, a player who has two matching cards of the same rank is said to have a “high pair.” This wins the pot. Ties are decided by the ranking of the next highest card in the hand.

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