Poker is a card game played between two or more players and involves betting on a hand of cards. While there is a large element of luck in the game, most professional players understand that long term results are based on skill and strategy.

The basic rules of poker are that each player is dealt five cards. Then, in turn, each player can choose to either call, raise or drop (fold). If a player calls a bet they must put the same amount of chips in the pot as the person before them. If they raise, they must place a higher amount of chips in the pot than their predecessors.

To help you play your best poker, learn to read your opponents’ body language. Observe their face, eyes and hand gestures for tells such as a scratching nose or nervous fidgeting. Other classic tells include an increasing pulse in the neck or temple, a hand placed over the mouth, and blinking excessively.

When playing poker, you must also pay attention to your own tells, such as a sweaty brow or fast heart rate. It is also important to keep records of your gambling winnings so you can pay taxes.

Standard poker hands consist of pairs, three of a kind, four of a kind and straights. Flushes contain any five consecutive cards from one suit. Tie hands are broken by the highest unmatched pair or secondary pairs (in a full house). In some cases, a wild card may be used to break ties.