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The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game played between two or more players. It is a game of chance and skill, and the winner is determined by the highest hand ranking. The game has many variants, but the rules are similar across the board. During the early 20th century, the game was introduced to the United States and became very popular. The popularity of the game increased dramatically with the introduction of televised poker shows, which have brought it into the mainstream.

In a standard game of poker, each player places an ante and then bets according to the rank they believe their hand is worth as compared to the others. They may also choose to call a bet, in which case they must match the amount that has been raised, or fold their cards, forfeiting the amount of the original ante and losing all further involvement in the hand.

One player is designated as the “banker,” who keeps track of how many chips each player has, and who they receive them from. There are usually a set of standard denominations for chips: the white chip is the lowest, worth a minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites, and so on. It is common to establish a special fund called a “kitty,” which players contribute to each time there is more than one raise. The kitty is used to pay for new decks of cards, food and drinks.

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