The game of Poker is played with cards and involves betting between players. There are many variants of the game, but they all involve placing chips (representing money) in a common pot during betting intervals determined by the rules of the specific game. A player has the option to call, raise or fold a hand.

A player begins a hand with two personal cards, called hole cards. Then, one more card is dealt face up, the flop, and a new round of betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer. Players can also draw replacement cards to add to their hands after the flop, depending on the rules of the specific game.

In most games, a player must bet the same amount as the player to his or her right before raising the stakes. This is called calling and is done by saying “I call.”

If you have a strong hand, it is best to continue betting into the pot even if other players check. This will force weaker hands to fold and increase your winnings.

The highest hand in poker is a straight, which contains four matching cards of the same rank in consecutive order, and five of a kind, which consists of five distinct cards of the same suit. Ties are broken by comparing the rank of each player’s high pair. If no high pair is found, the rank of the kicker (the lowest unmatched card) is compared.