Poker is a card game where players try to make the best hand possible. The goal is to win the pot by holding the highest ranked hand at the end of the hand, or “showdown”.

A player starts the game by betting the minimum amount of chips required to play. This amount is called the ante.

Once all the players have made their ante bets, the dealer deals the cards to each player. This is done in a round-by-round manner, with each round beginning with the player to the left of the dealer.

After the first round, players are allowed to bet, call, or raise. These can be based on a number of factors, including the strength of their hands and the cards in front of them.

Each betting interval lasts until each player has either put in exactly as many chips as their predecessors or has dropped. At the end of a betting interval, the bets are equalized and there is a showdown.

Poker is a game of chance, but when betting is involved, it also requires skill and psychology. It is a good idea to play poker with a group of people who know how to play it well, as it can be very difficult to learn the rules on your own.

The best poker hand is a Royal Flush, which consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit. The other basic types of hands are a high card, two pairs of cards, three of a kind, and straight.