Poker is a game of cards in which players make bets into a pot. The highest hand wins the pot. Unlike other card games, poker has significant element of luck involved. However, it also involves a great deal of skill and psychology.

A player must ante something (amount varies by game) to get dealt cards and the first betting round begins. The dealer shuffles and deals the cards to players one at a time starting with the player on their left. Then players can decide to raise, call or fold. Each bet is placed into the middle of the table and at the end of the hand the highest hand wins.

The best hand is a royal flush which contains an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the same suit. A straight flush is five consecutive cards of the same suit (like 5-4-3-2-1). A full house is three distinct pairs of cards. A high card breaks ties (for example, a pair of aces beats two sets of three of the same cards).

When deciding to raise or call a bet, consider a player’s body language. For instance, if they place their hand over their mouth or blink excessively, they may be bluffing. Players can also tell if someone has a strong hand by their breathing (shallow or labored breath), facial expressions and the way they grip their chips. A tight player will often stare you down while a looser player may glance at the chip count frequently.