The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that has a high element of chance, but is also a game of skill and psychology. It became very popular in the early 21st century, partly due to the invention of hole-card cameras, and is now a spectator sport with large audiences watching events such as the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour.

Each player is forced to put in a certain number of chips into the pot, called an “ante” or a “blind bet.” After the players have all placed their bets and their cards are dealt, a first betting interval starts. This first round of betting is known as the flop. The dealer then deals five more cards to the table, which are known as the community cards.

The players then have to decide whether to call (match the highest bet so far) or raise (increase the amount of money that they are putting into the pot). They can also fold their hand by not calling any bets at all, dropping out of the hand and losing any chips that they have already put into it.

In addition to these basic actions, a player can also say “Check” when they do not want to call a bet or raise their own bet. This allows them to pass on their turn, waiting until it comes back around to them again. The player with the best five-card poker hand wins. For example, a Royal Flush is a winning hand that contains five consecutive cards of the same suit.