Poker is a card game of chance and skill, where the twin elements of luck and psychology come into play. While the outcome of any particular hand largely involves chance, skillful players can minimize the impact of luck by using probability, psychology and game theory.

Each player places a forced bet, called an ante or blind, and the dealer shuffles and cuts the cards. The player to the right of the dealer cuts again, and then the dealer deals each player a number of cards in a round. These may be dealt face up or down, depending on the variant of poker being played.

When it’s your turn, you can choose to Check when the previous player raises their bet, Call if you want to match the higher amount, or Raise to increase your bet. If you’re betting higher than the previous player, you can also Fold to forfeit your hand.

A Full House contains 3 cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another, plus a Joker. A Flush contains 5 consecutive cards of the same suit (including the Joker). A Straight contains five cards of successive rank, but not all from the same suit, and the highest unmatched card wins.

To win a pot, your poker hand must be better than the other players’. You can also win a pot before the showdown by folding, which is a good strategy if your hand isn’t strong. If no one else has a better poker hand, the winner will take all of the bets made in the preceding rounds.