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The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where luck and skill are both needed to win. To be successful at poker, you need to build your instincts by playing and observing experienced players. The more you play, the faster and better you will get. You should also try to be an active participant at the table, rather than a passive observer, and do several shuffles to mix up the cards before dealing them.

The goal of the game is to make the best five-card poker hand using your own two cards and the five community cards. The player with the highest ranked poker hand wins the “pot” – all of the chips that have been bet during the betting rounds. A player may also win the pot by continuing to bluff until all other players fold their hands.

No one knows exactly how the game of Poker developed, but it is probably a combination of several earlier card games. The word poker is thought to have been coined by Jonathan H. Green in his Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling (1836), although two slightly later publications independently mention it without reference to Green.

A player must place an ante in the pot before being dealt five cards. Then, during each betting interval (according to the rules of the specific poker variant being played), a player must place a bet equal to or higher than the amount placed by the player before him.