What is Poker?
Poker is a name for a family of card games which share some common similarities. Players construct a hand, with all or some of their available cards kept hidden from other players until the end. One or more players will make a forced bet before cards are dealt to start the hand. Players have a choice to bet (put an amount of money into the pot, forcing all other players to match the bet to stay in the game), raise (increase, rather than match, a previous wager, forcing all other players to match the raise to stay in the game), call (match another player’s bet or raise), check (make no bet, if no other player has betted in that round) or fold (lay down their cards and remove themselves from the hand.) If more than one player makes it to the last round, the players reveal their cards and whoever has the strongest hand wins the pot.
Most forms of poker require a combination of luck and skill to win – as a game of high variance, skill usually determines the success of a player over playing a very large number of hands. The most common variant of poker played for money is Texas Hold ‘Em, a variant where players are dealt two hole cards, and must construct a hand using those plus five community cards – skill plays a huge part in this variant of poker, contributing to its popularity for both players and spectators.
Other forms of poker include other community card games such as Omaha, Draw Poker, and Stud Poker. Although many forms of the game are played both online and offline, with regional preferences around the world, Texas Hold ‘Em remains by far the most popular.
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