Poker is a card game that involves betting between two or more players. The game has a large number of variants, but all involve betting and a hand of five cards. A player may bet that they have the best hand, which forces other players to call (match) the bet or concede. Players may also bluff, in which case they make a bet that they do not intend to follow through with if they do not have a good hand.

The highest-ranking poker hand is a royal flush, which consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit, such as A-K-Q-J-T. Other common hands include a straight (five cards in order, such as 5-6-7-8-9), three of a kind (three cards of the same rank) and two pair (two matching cards of one rank and one unmatched card).

A small bet that all players must contribute before a hand is dealt. This is called an ante and helps increase the value of a pot.

Once all players have contributed to the pot, the cards are revealed and the winning hand is awarded. The main pot is the sum of all bets made in a given hand, while side pots are the amount of money placed in additional bets.

To be a successful poker player, it is important to have several skills. This includes discipline and perseverance, a keen focus and a bucket of confidence. It is also necessary to understand the game’s rules and terms, and to choose the right limits and games for your bankroll.