Poker is a card game that involves betting between players and requires a high degree of skill. The game has a number of variants, but in general the rules are the same: One or more players must make forced bets before they receive their cards (these may be an ante or a blind bet; this is specified by the rules of the specific poker variant). The dealer then shuffles and deals the cards to the players one at a time, beginning with the player on the right of the dealer. Each player then places their bets into the central pot (a chip that represents money, for which poker is primarily played).

When betting comes around to you in clockwise order, you must either call the previous player’s bet, raise it, or fold your hand. The highest remaining hand wins the pot.

After the final round of betting, players reveal their hands. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. If all players but one fold during the last betting round, that player collects the entire pot without having to show his cards. If more than one player remains in contention after the final betting round, a showdown takes place and the winner is determined.

When reading your opponents, look for patterns in their betting behavior. For example, very conservative players are often bluffed into folding early on, while aggressive players tend to play their hands until they have strong ones.

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