Poker is a card game where players wager and compare their cards in order to form a winning hand. There are several different variants of the game, each with its own rules and strategies. It’s important to know the basic rules of poker before playing, including how to evaluate a hand and the importance of position. A good player also possesses discipline and smart game selection, which means choosing the right limits and games for their bankroll and playing only when they can make money.

The game begins with each player and dealer being dealt two cards, face down. Then each player has the option of folding their hand or raising their bet. When they raise their bet, the other players must either call or fold. Players who don’t fold advance to the next betting round. This is known as the “flop.”

After the flop, the dealer deals three community cards face up on the table. The players that raised their bets then enter the showdown. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. If two players have the same high hand, they can use their suits as a tiebreaker (spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs in descending order).

When playing poker, it’s essential to be mentally tough. You’ll lose a lot of hands, but you should always remember that it’s just part of the game. Even the most experienced professional players have bad beats sometimes, and it’s important to stay calm and keep playing.