Poker is a game of strategy and skill in which players try to make the best five-card hand using their own cards and the community cards on the table. There are many variations of the game, but all share certain common features.
Depending on the variant, one or more players are required to place an initial amount of money into the pot before the cards are dealt. These are called forced bets and come in the forms of antes, blinds, and bring-ins.
A dealer shuffles and deals the cards to the players one at a time, starting with the player on their left. Then each player makes a bet in turn, either by “calling” it by putting into the pot the same number of chips as their predecessors; or by “raising,” which adds more chips to the pot by matching the previous bet; or by “dropping” (“folding”), which puts no chips into the pot and discards the hand.
After the first betting round is complete, the dealer deals three community cards face-up on the board. This is called the flop, and again each remaining player gets a chance to bet and raise or fold their hand.
After the flop, the betting rounds continue until all of the players have been dealt, at which point it is time for a showdown. After this, the person with the best poker hand wins the pot.