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Beginning Poker   Beginner - Play of the Game


About the Game


   Poker is a card game in which players bet into a communal pot during the course of a hand, and in which the player holding the best hand at the end of the betting wins the pot or, if only one player remains, he wins by default. Cards are always dealt in a clockwise manner starting with the player to left of the dealer. After the initial cards are dealt, there is a round of betting followed by more cards and another betting round. This continues until the hand is completed. The number of cards dealt and the number of betting rounds depends on the variation of poker being played. For example in Draw poker, five cards are dealt initially and there are two rounds of betting - in Texas Hold'em, two cards are dealt initially and there are four rounds of betting. - in seven card stud, three cards are dealt initially and there are five rounds of betting. The betting action also goes clockwise and depending on the game may start with the highest card showing, the lowest card showing, immediately to the dealers' left or with the last person to bet or raise in the previous round. During a given betting round, each remaining player in turn may take one of four actions -

  1. check - a bet of zero that does not forfeit interest in the pot

  2. bet or raise - a nonzero bet greater than preceding bets that all successive players must match or exceed or else forfeit all interest in the pot

  3. call - a nonzero bet equal to a preceding bet that maintains a player's interest in the pot

  4. fold - a surrender of interest in the pot in response to another player's bet, accompanied by the loss of one's cards and previous bets

   Betting proceeds until each player has either called all bets or folded. If more than one player remains after the last round of betting, cards are turned up for the "showdown" and the best hand is awarded the pot.


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