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Poker is a popular card game that requires a lot of skill. It is a popular social game played for pennies or matchsticks, and can also be played professionally for thousands of dollars.

There are many different variants of the game, but all share some common features: a hand consists of five cards in sequence and ranks according to its frequency in the deck; players bet on their hands. The player who has the best hand wins.

A poker game starts with each player placing a small amount into the pot, called an “ante.” This ante is usually set by the table. Once the ante is placed, the dealer deals two cards to each player and keeps them secret.

Next, the player to the left of the small blind is the first to act (fold, call the big blind, or raise). In this and every succeeding round, the player to the left of the big blind must post a small or big bet.

The dealer deals the first three community cards (the “flop”) face up to the table. The player to the left of the small blind is again the first to act.

After the flop, the dealers deal one more card face up to each player. Each player then takes turns revealing their hand to everyone, and the player with the highest hand wins the pot.