The game is designed to be played by a group of two to 10 people. The dealer deals the cards face down to the players. The betting rounds begin after the distribution is complete. Two players (often seated to the left of the dealer) place forced bets (often called blinds). This is done to promote more active and dynamic gameplay. The first betting round starts when the blinds are raised. Betting rounds usually terminate after all players have made their calls (the act of matching the stake) or thrown away their hands.

If more than one player stays with their hands after the first betting round, three face-up cards are dealt (this is known as the flip). These cards are required to form hand combinations and may be utilized by any player (they are referred to as “community cards”). If more than one player remains, another card is dealt, and this is known as the turn. Another betting round starts after the turn. The last community card, known as the river, is dealt if required. Following the river, another betting round takes place, and if two or more players are vying for the bank, the reveal takes place. Five communal cards and two personal face-down cards make up the poker hands (or combinations). When the final wager is called, all players holding cards begin to disclose them.

A game of poker may be won in two ways. To acquire the strongest hand or to make a gamble that no one can match, compelling opponents to discard their hands.

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