Poker is a card game with a lot of skill and psychology. It can be a very lucrative game when played correctly and it can also be very dangerous to your bankroll if you don’t have the right mentality.

Generally speaking poker is a game of chance when nothing is at risk but as soon as betting starts it becomes much more than that. The game requires a high level of skill and reading other players as well as the ability to play bluffs at the right times. The first step in learning how to play poker is knowing the rules.

The dealer puts 3 cards face up on the table that anyone can use (these are called community cards). After this round a fourth community card is added (the turn) and another betting round takes place. If there is more than one player still in the hand after this the fifth and final community card (the river) is revealed and the showdown takes place.

A flush is a series of 5 cards of the same suit (such as J-8-5-3-2) and is the highest natural poker hand. A straight is a sequence of five cards in order (such as A-K-Q-J-T) and is the second highest natural poker hand. A three of a kind is three distinct cards of the same rank and a pair is two distinct cards of the same rank. High card breaks ties in case of a tie between pairs or higher hands.