Poker is a card game filled with chance and risk. There are dozens of different variations of the game, but most share some common rules. The game is played with chips and players place these in a betting pool before being dealt cards. Players must also pay an initial amount to play called the ante or blind.

Once the chips are in play, each player gets 2 cards which they keep hidden from the other players. There is then a round of betting that can be raised or folded depending on the hand. Three more cards are shared, this is called the flop. There is another round of betting and then the final card, which is called the river, is dealt.

A winning hand is made up of a Straight, Flush or Full House. A Straight contains 5 cards of consecutive rank in one suit and a flush contains five cards of the same suit that skip around in rank. A Full House contains 3 matching cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another rank. And a Pair is two cards of the same rank plus one unmatched card.

Bluffing is an important part of poker but beginners should probably wait until they know a little bit more about relative hand strength before playing much bluffing at all. It is also a good idea to learn some poker etiquette, which is basically a set of rules for behaving responsibly at the table and respecting other players and dealers. This includes being respectful of other players, avoiding distractions and being gracious when you win or lose.