How to Play Poker

Poker is a card game that involves betting and bluffing. It is played with a minimum of 2 players and a maximum of 14. There are many different variants of the game but most of them follow the same basic rules. The objective is to win a pot by making the highest poker hand.

When playing poker, it is important to look beyond your own cards and consider what other players have. This will allow you to make moves based on what they may have in their hands and their past behavior. Ideally, you will be able to read their tells (eye movements, idiosyncrasies, hand gestures and betting behavior) to know what kind of hands they have.

Once everyone has their two cards the first round of betting begins. The player to the left of the dealer acts first and can choose to check, call or raise. Say you have a pair of kings, not great but not bad. You decide to call.

Then three more cards are dealt face up on the board, these are called community cards and anyone can use them. Another round of betting starts and if you still have a good hand you can call, raise or fold. If no one has a high pair or better, then the highest single card wins the tie. High cards also break ties between pairs and straights. The best hand is a full house which consists of 3 distinct pairs of cards and the highest single card.