Poker is a card game in which players place chips (representing money) into a pot. Each player has two cards, and the best five-card hand wins the pot. There are many different poker games, but most involve two to seven players and use a standard 52-card English deck without jokers or wild cards.

Each betting interval, or round, begins with one player making a bet of a specified number of chips. Then, each player to the left must either call that amount of chips into the pot or raise it. A player who chooses not to raise must “drop” (fold), leaving the remaining chips in the pot and not playing in the next deal.

After the initial betting rounds are complete the dealer deals three additional cards face up on the table. These are known as the flop. It’s important to remember that good pocket hands like kings and queens can still be beaten by strong flops, particularly if they have lots of straight cards or flush cards in them. That’s why it’s often better to check and fold than play a weak hand after the flop is revealed. Instead, try raising in order to price out weaker hands and increase the value of your pot. This is generally the correct strategy, but it requires skill and some luck as well.