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Learning Easy Poker Basics

Poker basics are easy to learn. This article will teach you how the game is played.

Poker can be played by a minimum of four to a maximum of ten players. Any standard deck of playing cards can be used.

Players can assign someone to act as the dealer for each round, or take turns doing it. Cards in poker are dealt clockwise.

Players make poker bets based on their assessment of the concealed hands of other players. Their bets are collected in the pot.

Although poker comes in many variants, all of them use the standard definitions and ranking of poker hands, to wit:

1. straight flush, holding five sequenced cards in the same suit, in which the Ace counts as either highest or lowest value card;

2. four of a kind, holding four cards of identical rank and one additional card;

3. full house, holding three cards of identical rank and another two cards of identical rank;

4. flush, holding five cards in like suits;

5. straight, holding five sequenced cards of any suit groupings;

6. three of a kind, holding three cards of identical rank and two additional cards;

7. two pair, holding two sets of cards with identical rank and an additional card;

8. one pair, holding two cards of identical rank and three additional cards; and

9. high card or the card with the optimum value in a hand with no other combination.

For similar hands, the ranking is based on the value of the highest card in the initial section of the combination.

Once the opening bet has been placed, players have to make their choices. They can call the bet of the previous player, meaning, to bet a matching amount. They can also raise the stakes, meaning, to bet an amount higher than the previous player's bet. Otherwise, they will have to fold, meaning, to stop betting and cut their losses, leaving all previous bets made in the pot.

Poker players have to be skilled in bluffing or making opponents believe that they hold a much higher hand. This is done to push other players to fold.

A round ends after all the players have bet or folded. Whoever remains among the players have a show of hands, also called a showdown. The exposed hands are assessed to find the winner.

The showdown is not called when there is only one player left in the game after all others have folded. The lone player is already the winner. This player could have really held the best hand or could have just bluffed successfully.

One can easily learn poker basics from an article such as this. It is more important to practice what one has learned in actual games, though. Only then can one truly progress in gaining real poker skills.