Poker is a card game in which players make bets, putting chips into the pot, based on probability and psychology. It’s a fast-paced game, with players betting continuously until one player has all the chips or they fold. While the game has a large element of chance, there is also a great deal of skill involved in reading opponents and making big bluffs.

In poker, each player is dealt five cards. Then the players must place an initial bet, called the ante, which is generally one or more chips. They may then choose to call the bet (put their own chips into the pot), raise it, or fold. The player with the best hand wins the pot.

The most common poker hands are high, pair and straight. A high hand is a pair of matching cards, such as two aces. A straight is 5 consecutive cards of the same suit, such as ace-k-q-j-t. A flush is 4 cards of the same rank, such as a king-queen-jack and two unmatched cards.

To play poker, you need a table and chairs. A round table is best for a group of players. You can find poker tables in many places, from glitzy casinos to seedy dives. The best way to learn the rules is to read a book or start playing with friends. You can also learn a lot by watching other players, looking for their tells, which are unconscious habits that reveal information about their cards.