Poker is a family of card games that are played around the world. They all have a common underlying rule: players bet on which hand is better, and the player who wins wins the entire pot. To play Poker, you need a table with chairs and a deck of cards. In addition, you need a little money to play the game with. You can use real money, but many people prefer to use chips. The first step to playing Poker is to decide how much you are willing to bet. You can either put a small amount of money into the pot, called an “ante,” or you can place more money into it, called a “blind bet.” Next, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals cards to all of the players one at a time, beginning with the player to the left of the person who started the game. The cards are usually dealt face up, but some versions of the game may be played with cards dealt face down. After each deal, the remaining players can either bet on their hands or discard their hand and go out of the game. The bets made in a betting interval (also known as a round) determine the winners of that round and the pot, which is the aggregate of all bets made during that round. Each betting interval is a separate round of play, and each player must choose whether to bet or discard their hand before each round of betting begins. In addition, each player can choose to call the bet of a previous player; raise the bet of a previous player; or drop their hand and not bet at all during that round. In some Poker variants, the bets of each player are counted and placed into a special fund called the “kitty.” This fund is used to pay for new decks of cards or for food and drinks at the end of the game. During the game, each player may also choose to “cut” (take) one low-denomination chip from each pot in which there is more than one raise. A poker player’s hand is worth the highest possible number of points if it consists of a single high card, two pairs, or three of a kind. If more than one player has a pair, the pairs are counted separately, and the highest-ranking pair wins. Another type of hand is the flush, which is made up of five cards of the same suit in sequential order. A flush is usually the highest possible hand if no other combination can be made. A player can also make a straight, which is five cards in sequence, regardless of the suit. A straight can be formed from any five cards, but it is best to try to make a straight with a lower card. A full house, on the other hand, is a colorful combination consisting of three cards of one rank and two cards of another.
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