Poker is a card game in which players place bets (representing money) into a common pot, and then compete to win the hand. The game can be played by any number of people, although there are a number of rules that govern the minimum number of cards in a hand and the type of hand needed to win. The game can be played in casinos, home games, and online.

A standard deck of 52 cards is used for the game, and a table (preferably a round one) with surrounding chairs is all that is required to play. In most games, a player is forced to make an initial bet of some amount before being dealt cards; this is known as making an “ante” or “blind bet.” Players then compete for the pot, which is the sum of all the individual bets made in each round.

During a betting interval, a player can call, raise, or fold. When a player calls, they must match the previous bet or raise it. When they raise, they add more chips or cash to the pot.

A good hand consists of two distinct pairs, three of a kind, or four of a kind. The highest pair wins. A flush is five consecutive cards of the same suit. A straight contains five cards in sequential rank, but from different suits. The high card breaks ties. A player may also have a wild card, which is any card not in a pair or a straight.

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