Poker is a card game played by two or more players. Each player puts in a small amount of money (the amount varies by game and is usually called the ante) to get dealt cards. Players then place bets into a pot in the center of the table. Players may raise and lower their bets at any time. When the betting is over, the player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot/all bets.

There are many different types of Poker hands. A full house contains three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. A flush is five consecutive cards of the same suit. A straight is five consecutive cards in a sequence but from more than one suit. High card breaks ties in these hands.

The player to the left of the dealer places a bet (the amount varies by game). When it gets around to you, you can choose to call the bet and stay in the hand or you can fold your cards. You can also raise your bet by adding more chips to the pot – this is known as raising.

The first step in becoming a good poker player is playing within your limits. This means only playing in games that you can afford to lose. You should also try to play with players that are of a similar skill level to you. This will help you learn more about your opponents and make it easier to read their betting patterns.