Poker is a card game of skill that can be played by two to 14 players. In most games, each player puts a forced bet (an ante or blind) into the center pot before they are dealt cards. Players then have the option to raise that bet in increments. The highest hand wins the pot.
Players make their bets by placing chips into the central pot in clockwise order. Say “raise” to add more money to the bet, and then players around you must either call your raise or fold their cards. You can also say “call” if you want to match another player’s bet.
If your hand consists of five cards of the same suit, then it is a flush. If your hand has one of the four remaining suits, then it is a straight. If your hand has two matching cards, then it is a pair. If you have no pairs, then your hand is dead.
There are many different strategies for winning at poker. Some of these strategies involve bluffing, while others focus on building quick instincts to read other players’ actions and evaluate their odds of making a good hand. Regardless of strategy, the divide between break-even beginner players and big-time winners is often just a few adjustments in how you view poker as a game of chance versus a game of pure skill.