In poker, players bet money into the pot in order to win the hand. The highest hand wins the pot. Unlike other card games, poker has an element of chance, but with betting it becomes a game of skill and psychology.

When playing poker it is important to keep your opponent guessing about your hand strength. Trying to play a very tight style will give your opponent too much information and will make it difficult for you to win by bluffing. However, it is also important to be able to fold your hands when you don’t have the best one.

To start the hand, everyone antes something (amount varies by game, ours is usually a nickel). Once the ante is in place the dealer deals two cards to each player and then starts betting. When betting gets around to you, you can say “call” if you want to call the previous bet or raise it.

After the flop is dealt, the dealer puts another card on the board that anyone can use called the turn. Another round of betting takes place and if any players still have cards they can bet or fold.

At the end of the hand the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot. The highest ranking poker hand is a straight which contains five cards in sequence but don’t have to be in the same suit. A flush is made up of three cards of the same rank and two unmatched cards. A full house is four of a kind (three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank) and a pair is two cards of the same rank and three other unmatched cards.