The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where you try to form the highest-ranking hand based on the cards that are dealt. You bet throughout the game in order to win the pot, which is the total of all bets made. There are several skills necessary to be a successful poker player, including discipline, adaptability and reading other players. The best players are very patient and can calculate pot odds and percentages quickly. They also have good reads on other players and know when to call or raise a bet.

The first round of betting in poker begins after each player receives 2 cards face down. The players to the left of the dealer then make a mandatory bet called a blind bet into the pot. This is done to create an incentive for players to play and help increase the size of the pot.

Once the first round of betting is over, the flop is dealt. This is the second community card and a new round of betting starts. The betting is generally higher on this round since you have a better idea of what your opponents have in their hands.

On later betting streets you want to be the player dishing out the aggression. This is why you should avoid calling re-raises from early positions, especially with weak or marginal hands.

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