Poker is a card game in which players wager chips (representing money) against one another. The game has a variety of variants, but each involves forced bets, usually an ante and a blind bet, which must be made by every player in turn before being dealt cards. Once the cards are dealt there may be one or more betting intervals in which players can raise or fold their hands. The highest hand wins the pot.

Each player begins with two cards face down (his hole cards) and one card face up, which he must reveal in order to bet. After the first round of betting a third card is dealt to the table that all players can use (this is called the flop). There is then a fourth and final betting interval, after which the dealer will put a fifth community card on the table that everyone can see, the river.

The best poker hand is a pair of Aces or higher in the same suit. This is called a royal flush and beats all other hands except a straight flush, which consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit.

There are many tells in poker, but it takes practice to learn them all. Watch experienced players and observe how they play to develop quick instincts. Try to read the subtle signals of a player, such as a relaxed smile and slow twitch of the eyebrows when they are dealt a good hand.