A poker game is a card game where players bet chips to win the pot. The rules for poker vary slightly from game to game, but there are some basic rules that must be followed in order to play. A poker game can have anywhere from two to ten players, and the game is usually played with poker chips that have different values and colors.

Before any hands are dealt there are 2 mandatory bets called blinds that all players must place in the pot before seeing their cards. This creates an instant pot and encourages people to stay in the hand.

After the first round of betting is over the dealer puts 3 more cards on the table that anyone can use called the flop. This starts another betting round and once again people will raise or fold depending on the strength of their cards.

The flop can reveal a lot about an opponents hand and the strength of their potential winning poker hand. Pocket kings and pocket queens for example are strong hands but if the flop is A-8-5 then it is likely they will be losing to a high card or a straight.

Keeping in mind that you can only control your own cards and how to play them it is also important to pay attention to the other players. This is called reading your opponent and a large part of it is not subtle physical poker tells like scratching your nose or playing nervously with your chips, but rather patterns. For instance if someone bets all the time you can assume they are holding a weak hand.

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