Poker is a card game that involves betting, strategy, and reading your opponents. It is a game of chance, but the more you play, the better you become. A good poker player also knows how to read their opponents’ body language and tells, and they can use this knowledge against them.

Depending on the poker variant, one or more players must put money into the pot before cards are dealt. This is known as forcing bets, or blinds. These bets are mandatory so that there is an incentive for players to participate in the hand. The dealer then deals each player 2 cards face down. There are then a number of betting intervals, each one ending when either every player has placed the same amount of chips as their predecessor or they have folded.

The best Poker hands are made up of 4 matching cards of the same rank or 3 unmatched cards in a sequence. A flush is 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. A straight is 5 cards of a consecutive rank but from more than one suit. A pair is two cards of the same rank, and a three of a kind is 3 matching cards of different ranks.

The object of poker is to win wagers from other players by having the highest-valued hand at showdown. You can do this by raising bets or by bluffing. A poker player also needs to know the odds of a particular card showing up when it is shown multiple times, as this is important for making intelligent decisions during the game.