The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game in which players wager chips to determine the winner of a hand. The game can be played with one or more players, and betting passes clockwise around the table. Players may call, raise or fold.

There are many variations of the game, but a basic strategy can improve your chances of winning. You can learn more about the rules of poker by reading a book or watching a video. Then practice your skills by playing online or with friends. There are also tournaments where you can test your skills against other players.

A royal flush consists of a 10, Jack, Queen and King of the same suit (clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades). This is the highest-ranking poker hand and can only be tied by another royal flush. A straight contains five cards in a sequence, but not necessarily from the same suit (for example, 4 aces and a 5). A full house is three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. A pair is two cards of the same rank and an unmatched fifth card.

Most games award the pot to the player with the best poker hand according to standard rankings. However, there are some variations of the game where a different order of poker hands is used. These include high-low split games, where the highest and lowest poker hands divide the pot. Also, some games have fewer than five cards, and these are known as draw games.

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