Poker is a card game in which players wager chips (representing money) for a chance to win a pot. The outcome of any particular hand significantly involves luck, but players choose their actions based on probability, psychology and game theory. Players can place forced bets before the flop, but thereafter the pot is constructed through a series of betting rounds with each player acting in turn.

A poker hand is made of five cards. The highest hand wins the pot. A pair consists of two matching cards of the same rank. A three of a kind is three cards of the same rank and two matching cards of another rank. A straight is five consecutive cards of the same suit. A flush is five cards of the same suit, but can be mixed. A high card is any hand that doesn’t qualify as a pair, three of a kind or a flush.

When playing poker, good etiquette is crucial. It is important to avoid talking while not in a hand, as this can be distracting for others and give away information that might help opponents make better decisions.

It is also a good idea to pay attention to how your opponents bet. A common mistake that many new players make is to focus on their own hand and ignore what their opponent might be holding. The strength of your hand is only determined by what the other players might hold, so try to understand their intentions and how they will react to the board.