Poker is a game of chance, but it also requires a lot of skill. The first step is understanding the rules of the game and knowing when to call, raise or fold.

The rules are simple: each player is dealt a total of 7 cards, and players make the best 5-card hand out of them. The players then take turns revealing their cards, and the player with the best hand wins the pot.

There are several different versions of poker, but most involve a round of betting before the first card is revealed. This is followed by a draw phase, in which the dealer deals cards to each player one at a time and reveals the hand after the third betting round.

A full house is made up of 3 matching cards of the same rank and 2 matching cards of another rank, and a flush is any 5 cards of the same suit. A straight is any 5 cards of consecutive rank but from more than one suit.

Each hand is ranked from highest to lowest, and ties are broken by the high card. A pair of aces is the lowest possible hand, while a straight flush is the highest.

The rules of the game are designed to ensure that there is no bias in the hands. But players should still pay attention to how the other players are playing, and not act in a way that could give away information. For example, never announce your decision to bet or raise if someone is thinking too long in front of you – it’s not only unfair to the other players at the table, but it can ruin your whole hand.