Poker is a card game of chance, but it also involves skill and psychology. Players must think about the strength of their own hand and the betting patterns of the other players. They must try to maximise their winning hands and minimise their losses when they have losing hands. This strategy is called MinMax.

To start the game, a player must “open” by placing one or more chips into the pot in turn. Each player must then decide whether to call that amount of money (“call”), raise their own bet by adding more chips into the pot (“raise”), or drop out (“fold”).

Once all the cards are dealt, a shuffle takes place. The dealer will do this or the players may do it themselves. When the shuffle is complete, each player must discard their old cards and draw new ones from the top of the deck. The deck is then re-shuffled before the next round of betting begins.

A common way to fund a poker game is by creating a special pot of money for the players to use. This is usually done by “cutting” (taking) a low-denomination chip from every pot in which there is more than one raise. This fund is then used to pay for new decks of cards and other expenses. Any chips left in the kitty at the end of the game are divided among the players who are still playing. Usually this is done by unanimous or majority agreement.

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