The game of poker involves betting between players and can involve bluffing. Players with the best hand win; weaker hands either call or fold.
A poker hand consists of five cards of consecutive rank (such as two kings or three spades). The highest-ranking hand is the royal flush, which includes a ten, jack, queen, king and ace of one suit.
After the first round of betting is complete the dealer deals three additional cards face-up on the table. These are called the flop. Anyone can use these cards to improve their hand.
Two distinct pairs of cards of the same rank (such as three jacks or three nines). The highest pair wins. A tie is possible, in which case the high card breaks the tie.
Three of a kind – three matching cards of one rank. The highest of the three cards wins.
Four of a kind – four cards of the same rank, but different suits. The highest of the four wins.
A straight – five consecutive cards of the same suit, such as four hearts or three diamonds. The higher the straight, the better the hand.
The value of a poker hand is in inverse proportion to its mathematical frequency, meaning the more unusual the combination, the less valuable it is. This is the basis for the risk versus reward concept that forms the core of all sound poker strategy. Position is also very important. Playing in early position gives you a huge advantage because you have more information than your opponents and can make more accurate bluff bets.