The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game of chance played by two or more people. It has been in use for over 200 years, and today is found worldwide. The game is primarily a betting game, although some bluffing and trapping is often used. It is played with a standard 52-card deck.

Unlike some other card games, the player who makes the highest hand wins the pot. A round of betting begins when each active player receives 2 hole cards. Players can call a bet by putting the same amount in the pot as the last player or raise it higher. If a player cannot meet the last raise, they must fold or remain in the pot until a showdown occurs.

A straight is a hand that contains five consecutive cards of the same rank, such as an Ace, Two, Three, Four and Five. Three of a kind is a hand with two matching cards of the same rank, such as Two Kings or Two Queens. Two pair is a hand with two matching cards of equal value, such as Two Jacks or Two Sixes.

It is important to pay attention to other players at the table and learn their poker tells. These tells don’t come from subtle physical poker habits like scratching the nose or fiddling with a ring, but from patterns. A player that bets the same amount every time is likely to have a weak hand, while a player that raises dramatically in every hand is probably holding an unbeatable one.