Poker is a family of card games that can be played with any number of players from 2 to 14 and has rules that involve one or more rounds of betting. The main goal of the game is to win the “pot,” which is the aggregate of all bets made by all players in a deal.

How to Play the Game

In most poker variants, a dealer begins a hand by passing out a certain number of cards face up, typically all at once. The dealer then deals a set number of cards to each player in the hand, beginning with the player on the left.

The first round of betting occurs, during which the players may choose to Fold, Check, Call or Raise. To Fold, a player surrenders their hand and loses any bets made in the pot; to check, a player passes on the option to make a bet; to call, a player makes a bet equal to the previous bet; and to raise, a player increases their bet by an amount that is more than their initial bet.

A hand can be made up of any combination of cards, including 3 of a kind (two cards of the same rank and two other unmatched cards), a pair, a flush or a straight. The highest possible hand is a five of a kind, which beats any other hand that does not have this ranking.

Many beginner players make mistakes when they first start playing the game. Some of these are simple to correct, but others take time and practice to get right.