How to Play Poker


The card game Poker is played between two or more players. Each player has chips that they use to bet in the pot (the total of all bets made on any one deal). Depending on the game rules, some or all players may have to place an amount of money into the pot before their cards are dealt. This is called a forced bet and it can come in the form of an ante, a blind, or a bring-in.

The goal of the game is to make a winning hand using your own two cards and the five community cards. The best hand wins the pot (all the bets placed). Some poker hands have names – for example, a full house is 3 cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another rank, while a straight contains 5 cards that are consecutive in rank or sequence but do not match.

There are many different ways to play poker, and it is important to learn the game well so that you can understand what the other players are doing and how strong their cards are. This will help you to read their body language and other tells, which are often important in poker.

If you have a strong hand, you should either raise or fold. It is not usually profitable to limp, which means to call the bets of players with weaker hands. Instead, you should be raising to price out weaker hands and make your stronger hands more valuable.