How to Play Poker

Poker is a card game that can be played with two or more players. The basic goal is to win a “pot” by having the highest-ranking poker hand or by making a bet that no other player calls.

Poker can be played by anyone, even if they’re a complete beginner, but you’ll need to have an understanding of the basic rules and strategies before you start playing. In addition, you’ll need to learn how to place bets and manage the chips in the pot.

Cards are dealt in a prearranged combination of face-down and face-up rounds, with a betting round following each. In a five-card hand, each player is dealt two extra cards, which are used to make their best 5-card poker hand.

The winning hand is the one that contains the highest card, or a pair of identical cards. The highest two pairs are always ranked first, and the next highest card is used to break ties.

Another way to win a poker game is to form a hand that includes three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. This combination is called a full house, and it is the strongest hand possible in poker.

The most common winning hands are a high card, or a pair of identical cards, and a straight. A straight is a running sequence of five cards, regardless of suit. Other hands include a flush, which is a five-card hand with all the same suit in sequential order, and three of a kind, or three cards of the same rank.