Poker is a game in which you compete against other players to make the best hand. To do this you must use strategy and quick instincts to play the cards you have in front of you. Practice and watch other players to develop your own instincts, and try reading some poker books for more information on different strategies.

When you have a good hand you should bet to force other players into the pot and increase the size of your potential winnings. If you have a bad hand you should check/limp to see what the other players have in their hands and then decide whether or not to fold. A basic strategy is to bet big when you have a strong hand and fold when you have a weak one.

Once all players have either matched the raise or folded, the dealer deals three cards face up on the table, known as the “flop”. This is when players in late position (a player who acts after other players) have a chance to improve their hand by using the five community cards.

The strength of a hand is determined by the number and quality of the cards. The value of the cards are based on their rank and suit. A pair is two matching cards of the same rank, three of a kind is three of the same rank and two unmatched cards, a straight is 5 cards in sequence but from different suits and a flush is five consecutive of the same suit.