Poker is a card game of skill where the goal is to have the highest-ranking five-card hand. Each player has two personal cards and five community cards, which are revealed when the flop is dealt. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot, which is the sum of all bets made in a single betting round.
There are many different forms of poker, but they all involve placing an initial contribution, called the ante, into the pot before the cards are even dealt. Then, during one or more betting intervals (depending on the poker variant), players bet on their hands by raising or lowering their contributions to the pot.
The goal is to have a high-ranking poker hand, which consists of either a full house (3 matching cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another rank), a flush (five consecutive ranks of the same suit) or a straight (five consecutive cards in sequence but of more than one suit). Depending on the rules of a particular poker game, a player may also draw replacement cards during or after the betting rounds.
A good poker player is able to minimize losses with poor hands and maximize winnings with strong ones. He or she can also bluff to confuse the opponents. Tells, such as shallow breathing or sighing, flaring nostrils, blinking excessively, and an increasing pulse seen in the neck or temple, are indications that a player is nervous. In a tournament, the best poker players are often able to tell when their opponents are bluffing by observing body language.