Poker is a card game played by two or more players. The game is based on chance, but it also involves skill and psychology.

Poker requires good hand reading skills and the ability to make the best decisions under pressure. A player can choose to Check (match the bet made by the player before them), Call or Raise. By doing so, they can control the amount of money in the pot and how often they win it.

A player’s hand strength is measured by the number of cards they have that form a pair or higher. A full house contains 3 matching cards of one rank, a flush consists of 5 consecutive cards of the same suit and a straight contains five cards that skip around in rank but are all from the same suit.

The most important thing to remember when playing Poker is that the strength of your hand is relative to the strength of your opponent’s. Top players always fast play their strong hands in order to build the pot and chase off other players who may be holding a draw that beats theirs.

This is why it is important to play weaker players if you want to make a decent living from the game. They are more likely to make mistakes that can cost you big.