Poker is a card game played between two or more players and is one of the most popular games in the world. It is a card game of chance and a betting game. It also requires a certain amount of psychology and skill. The best way to learn poker is to read a book on the subject or get into a game with a group of people who already know how to play.

After the cards are dealt, the player to the left of the dealer begins revealing their cards, starting with their hole cards. The goal is to beat the card in the middle, which can be an 8, a pair of any rank, a flush or a straight. When the player beats the card in the middle, they stop revealing cards and begin the betting round.

If the player believes their hand is strong, they can raise their bets to put pressure on other players to call. It’s important to pay attention to other players during the game to see what their hands look like and how they’re playing them. This is called reading other players and is a large part of the game of poker.

When it’s your turn to act, you can either ‘check’, which means that you don’t put any money into the pot, or ‘call’ the highest bet made so far. You can also ‘raise’ the current high bet, which increases the amount that you are contributing to the pot.