Poker is a betting card game where players attempt to get the best hand possible. It is a popular casino game that has evolved into an international sport. It involves a combination of bluffing, reading other players and predicting odds.

A player’s highest-ranking hand is a straight flush, which is made up of 5 consecutive cards of the same suit (all clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades). The next-highest-ranking hand is a full house, which is made up of 3 matching cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another rank.

In poker, players don’t show their cards until they reach a showdown, where they can reveal their hands. Strategically, it is important for each player to keep their hands secret because if other players know how strong their hands are, they will be less likely to bet on them.

To make a bet, a player places chips into the pot, and then either calls to match a previous bet or raises to add more to the pot. If a player raises, other players must then call or fold.

If a player doesn’t have enough money to call their bet, they must “fold,” which is to drop out of the hand and lose any chips they have already invested. This can be done by saying “fold,” or by tossing their chips into the pot directly.

After the first bet, each player has the option to check, which is to pass on betting, or to “open,” which is to make the first bet. If all players check, the round of betting is over with no more chips in the pot.