Poker is a card game that can be played by two or more players and involves betting on a hand of cards. Several different variants of poker are played, each with its own set of rules and strategy. Regardless of the specific rules, most forms of poker involve a dealer and a pot.

Some poker variants require one or more players to place an initial amount into the pot before cards are dealt. These forced bets are often called antes, blinds, or bring-ins. They can take the form of chips or cash. Players may also be required to make additional forced bets during a hand, known as raising.

Each player is dealt five cards and competes with other players to make the best possible hand. A winning hand must consist of at least a pair of matching cards and at least three other unmatched cards. The value of a poker hand is in inverse proportion to its mathematical frequency, meaning that rarer hands are worth more money than common ones.

The game can be played with any number of players, though six to eight is typical for casino games and major tournaments. The object of the game is to win the “pot,” which is the sum of all bets made during a single deal. Players may win the pot by having a high-ranking hand or by bluffing and convincing other players that they have a better hand than they do.

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