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Basic Rules of Poker

Poker is a card game that is played by two or more players and involves betting after each round of cards. There are a number of different types, variants and limits of the game. Regardless of the type of poker you play, there are a few basic rules that must be followed to succeed.

One of the most important things to remember is to never be afraid to fold a hand, especially early on in the game. Any poker book written by a pro will tell you that unless you have a high pair (aces, kings, queens, jacks, or tens) or a straight or flush, you should always fold before the flop. While this seems like a no-brainer, many new players take this advice too literally and don’t realize that there are times when it is perfectly acceptable to bow out of a hand.

Also, don’t be afraid to be aggressive with your bluffs. There is nothing worse than having a strong hand and getting crushed by someone who bluffs with terrible cards. This will give the other player a bad feeling and they will be less likely to call your bets when you do have a strong hand. You can also use bluffing to disguise the strength of your hand and make it hard for others to put you on a specific hand. For example, if you are holding pocket fives and the flop is A-8-5, people will have a difficult time putting you on a pair of kings and will probably fold to your bet.