Poker is a game of cards that involves betting between players in order to win pots (money or chips). A winning hand is composed of five consecutive cards from the same suit. The aim is to make the best possible poker hand so that you can force the other players to fold in later rounds and take home all the money. There are many different poker games but the rules of the game are the same across all variants.

The first step to becoming a good poker player is learning the rules thoroughly. This will give you the foundation to understand how to play poker and build your own strategy.

Once you have the basic rules down it is also important to pay attention to other players. This is not just about reading subtle physical tells but rather watching their betting behavior and looking for patterns. If a player raises frequently it is safe to assume they are holding a strong hand while players who call all the time may be holding weak hands.

A round of betting starts after each player receives their two hole cards. The betting is started by 2 mandatory bets called blinds put into the pot by the players to their left of the dealer. After this round is complete the dealer deals a third card to the table that everyone can use (the flop). After this another betting round is conducted.

After the final betting round is finished the fifth community card is dealt (the river). The showdown occurs in which a poker hand is declared the winner.

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