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Poker is a card game in which players bet on the strength of their hands, and the winner is the player with the best hand. It is one of the most popular forms of gambling worldwide and has several different variants, but it all shares the same basic rules and a standardized deck of cards.

First, a player has to make a small bet called an ante before he is dealt his hand. The ante is usually a set amount, such as $1 or $5, and is chosen by the players at the table.

Once the ante is paid, players then receive their two hole cards, which they must keep secret from the other players. Each player must then decide whether or not to bet the amount of their ante on the next round.

During the next round, which is called a flop, everyone in the hand can bet, raise, or fold their chips to continue. After the flop is completed, there is another round of betting, called the turn. Once that round is over, the dealer will then deal a fifth card on the table which anyone in the hand can use.

The fifth and final card is called the river. The person with the highest five-card poker hand wins the pot.

The first thing you should do when playing poker is to get a good sense of the rules and what they mean. This will help you understand the differences between games and make informed decisions about your play. It is also important to learn a little bit about the history of poker. Luckily, there are several books available that will help you with this.