Poker is a card game that is played between two or more players and involves betting on the outcome of the hand. It has many different variants but the basic rules are all the same. The player with the best five-card hand wins. During play, the dealer deals each player two cards face down and then “burns” one of them before dealing the first three community cards (“the flop”). The player to the left of the big blind acts first; they can fold, call or raise.

The most common poker hands are a straight, flush and pair. A straight is a sequence of 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. A flush is 5 cards of the same suit that are not in a sequence (like 3 Js and a K). A pair is 2 matching cards of the same rank.

It is important to be able to read your opponents and understand what kind of hands they are holding before making a decision. This will help you to predict their action and make decisions more quickly. You can learn about reading your opponent’s tells by watching their body language and observing how they respond to other players. Look for things like shallow breathing, sighing, flaring nostrils, blinking excessively and an increasing pulse seen in the neck or temple.

It is also helpful to be able to count your chips and know how much you have in your stack. This will help you avoid giving away information and prevent your opponents from counting your stack.