Poker is a card game that is played between two or more players and involves betting. Each player is dealt five cards and the best hand wins the pot.

There are a variety of different poker games but all involve the same basic elements. In most cases a forced bet is placed into the pot by one or more players before the dealer deals cards. This bet can be made for a number of reasons including trying to steal the pot with a weak hand, protecting an expensive pair or bluffing.

After the ante bet is placed the dealer deals three cards face up on the table called the flop. Players then get a chance to raise or fold. If someone calls a raise and has a good poker hand they win the pot.

If no one has a good poker hand then the next highest poker hand wins the pot. This is referred to as the showdown.

There are several different ways to win a poker hand but the most common is a Royal Flush. This consists of an Ace, King, Queen and Jack of the same suit. Four of a kind is another popular poker hand and consists of three matching cards of the same rank plus two unmatched cards. A flush is five cards of consecutive rank in the same suit (spades, hearts, diamonds or clubs). A straight is five consecutive cards but not all of the same suit. Finally, a pair is two cards of the same rank and one unmatched card.