Poker is a card game of chance, but it also involves a lot of psychology and skill. When you add betting to the mix, the game becomes much more complicated and interesting. This is just a quick primer into the rules of poker, if you’re looking for a more in-depth guide I suggest getting a book on it or playing with a group of people who already know how to play.

Usually, poker is played with a standard pack of 52 cards (some variant games use multiple packs or add wild cards). The deck is ranked in order from highest to lowest: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 7, 6, 5 and 4. Each player will have two personal cards in their hand, as well as five community cards on the table that are available to all players. The highest five-card poker hand wins.

In the beginning of the hand, all players put in the pot (representing money, for which poker is almost always played) an amount equal to or greater than the total contribution made by the players before them. These contributions are called the “blinds”. They’re not required to be made, but the players often choose to do so for various strategic reasons.

After the blinds have been placed, the dealer deals each player a hand of five cards. Each player must then decide how to act in the first betting round by raising, calling or folding their cards. If they raise, they’re saying that they have a strong hand and want to increase the amount of money in the pot.

If they call, they’re calling the raised bet and agreeing to match it. If they fold, they’re letting their cards go into the muck. Players can also “check” if they don’t want to bet, in which case they’ll pass their turn and wait until it comes back around to them again.

During the second betting round, the dealer will put three community cards on the table that all players can see. This is known as the flop. Then there is another betting round and then the final card, called the river, is dealt. The best poker hands consist of a pair, three of a kind, four of a kind or straight. If there are ties for these hands, the highest card breaks the tie. High card is also used to break ties when there are two distinct pairs.