Poker is a game of chance and skill. It involves a series of rounds of betting and a showdown in which the hands are revealed. It is one of the most popular card games played worldwide.
A hand in poker is a set of five cards, ranked in order of value. The highest hand wins the pot. A flush is when a player holds five cards of the same suit, and a straight is a set of consecutive cards in a single suit.
In some variants, a poker hand may also include deuces, which are cards that are not part of a player’s hand but can represent any card in the deck. The highest possible hand is a straight, followed by flushes and full houses.
The dealer (or nominal dealer) deals the cards and takes turns revealing them to the other players. He is responsible for deciding when to shuffle the cards.
In many poker games, two players are required to post small and big blinds before every hand begins. These forced bets ensure that a level of action is maintained throughout the game.
In a typical round of poker, each player is dealt one card face down and one card face up. The player to the left of the dealer button is first to act by folding, calling a small blind or big blind, or raising.
The dealer then reveals the first set of community cards, called the flop. The small blind is next to act by folding, checking, or making a bet; if no player raises the big blind, the small blind can call or raise his own bet.