Poker is a card game in which players place bets (representing money, for which the game is almost invariably played) into a central pot. The game may have one or more betting intervals, with each player contributing to the pot in turn according to the rules of the variant being played.
Each player is dealt two cards face-down, then places bets (representing chips that represent money) into the pot. The player to his right usually makes a forced bet called an ante or blind bet before the dealer deals any cards.
Once the ante or blind bets have been made, the dealer shuffles the cards and deals them to each player in turn (except for the player who just placed an ante or blind). Each player then looks at their cards and makes bets based on their best hand.
The highest-ranking hand is a royal flush, which consists of a 10, Jack, Queen, and King of the same suit (all clubs, diamonds, hearts, or spades). A straight contains five consecutive cards of the same rank but not the same suits. A three of a kind is a trio of matching cards. A pair is two unrelated cards of the same rank.
When playing Poker, it is important to keep your cards secret from other players. This is known as keeping your poker face, or “playing it close to the vest.” It is also important to avoid holding your cards below the table, as this can look suspicious and give away your strategy.