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The Basics of Poker

To some, gambling has become a need.

But what necessitates an individual to take such risk?

Various factors come into play. Possibly, for pleasure. For entertainment. For the hope of winning a bit of cash, perhaps.

Whatever the reason may be, gambling has sure become a part of the gambler's daily agenda. However, it definitely takes courage to get involved, and requires double the skill get the roll balling--- and assume the best.

Take poker, for instance.

Being exceedingly pliable, Poker permits many variations, but the basic procedure is practically the same in all of them and the essential rules are simple.

If you do not already know the rules, you can learn them in a few minutes. Thereafter, you can easily adapt them on whichever variation is being played.

Poker requires no set number of players. In a pinch two are enough. The more players present, the more action there is. Seven usually make an ideal game. Most of the popular variations can comfortably accommodate eight; some can accommodate more.

This is the idea behind every variation: you hope to accumulate a five-card hand which will outrank those held by your opponents.

While the purpose of Poker is to provide pleasure, the object is to win money. In each deal an amount of money, called the pot, is at stake.

Usual practice is to start building the pot with an ante: each player puts up a designated amount, or each dealer in turn antes for the entire group.

The dealer shuffles the deck; the player immediately to his right cuts it. Then the dealer distributes the cards clockwise, one at a time to each player.

'Playing the hand' is merely an idiom here; all you do with your cards is subject them to your own careful appraisal; then you play your money accordingly, as a threat or cudgel or snare or shield. You may, at any betting turn, drop out of the action so as to conserve your money for the next deal.

There are three types of bets. Opening bet--- the first in a round; Call--- an equalizing bet, it must match the last previous bet by an opponent; Raise--- an aggressive bet greater than the last previous bet.

Almost always, a limit is clamped down on the amount which may be bet at one time. Be sure you understand the limit when you sit down to play.

'Bet the raise', 'pot limit', and 'table stakes' are examples of dangerous limits. At the conclusion of each deal, there is a final betting round.

At the conclusion of betting, if two or more players have stayed, that is, remained in action, they show their hands; this is called the showdown.

The holder of the highest ranking hand wins the pot. In high-low variations, the holder of the highest ranking hand divides the pot with the holder of the lowest ranking hand.

You can win a pot another way: when all your opponents drop out, conceding it to you. Sometimes you can achieve this with a bluff, with bold, risky betting which so intimidates the holders of higher ranking hands that they drop out.

Unless the last bet by the winner of a pot has been called, he is not required to reveal his hand. The principle: you must pay to see.

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