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Playing Poker and Bluffing

In poker, it is possible for a person to win an amount that is exponentially more than what they had bet. In poker, the prize that players compete over is the pot, which is the amount of money that players pool together over the course of several betting rounds. Each round, players get turns in which everyone has to put in the same amount as the previous player, and it is sometimes possible for players to have more than one turn, especially when players raise. This means that the more players participating in a game of poker, the larger the pot is.

This particular group of card games may rely heavily on chance in that a player cannot control what kinds of cards will be dealt to them, but skill can also play a significant part in whether or not a person wins a game. Often, a skilled poker player will not only play their cards but the players as well. There are many different kinds of poker games, but usually, they share betting rules and hand rankings.

In any given poker game, aside from a forced bet that "opens" the pot, the bets that a player makes are voluntary, and are made based on the idea that their bets will have a positive expected value. This requires good judgment; it has been said that the fundamental theorem of poker basically posits that a player has to make the right kinds of decisions to win the pot. Since the only thing that a player can ascertain for sure in a game of poker is their own hand and any other cards that may be on display, a player must instead be able to "read" their opponents and try to manipulate them into taking actions that will benefit the player. Often, this is done using misdirection and subterfuge.

Bluffing is a big part of this; and many poker professionals believe that it is impossible to win a game of poker without some form of bluff. In the strictest sense, when a person bluffs, they are essentially playing as if they have a hand that is far better than the one that they really have. Sometimes though, bluffing can mean any sort of game play where a person plays with the intention of making other players believe that they have a hand that is different from what they actually have. This normally requires that an individual not only know how to control their own reactions so that they are "unreadable," but that they also know how to "read" an opponent and correctly predict what kinds of actions they might take.

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