Poker is a card game in which players wager money on the outcome of a hand. The game is played with a standard 52-card deck plus one or two jokers. It has a rich tradition of bluffing and misdirection. While there are many different games of poker, the rules and basic strategy remain the same.

Most poker games begin with an initial bet, called the blind or ante, which players place before being dealt cards. Once the bets are equalized, the players show their hands and the highest hand wins the pot.

Some poker variants allow a player to bet without raising their hand, known as checking. However, a player who checks can only raise their bet if no player before them in the betting interval raised it. Otherwise, they have to call the new bet or fold their hand.

A high card is the highest individual card in a hand. A pair is two cards of the same rank, such as a queen and a jack or a five and a three. A straight is a sequence of five cards of consecutive rank, but from different suits. The highest hand is the royal flush which includes a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit.

It is important to practice good poker etiquette. This includes not talking while other players are still in the hand and keeping your cards face up, not revealing information to opponents, and not distracting other players. This will not only disturb other players but may even ruin their chances of winning the hand.

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