Poker is a game of chance where players try to make the best possible hand from a standard deck of cards. While a variety of strategies can help you win, luck is always involved.

A shuffled deck of 52 cards is used for play, and many games also include wild cards that can take on any suit. The highest hand wins; the hands with the lowest probability of winning are ranked from least valuable (low) to most valuable (high).

There are three phases of betting: pre-flop, flop and post-flop. Each player is dealt 2 hidden cards before the flop and another 3 cards are revealed on the flop.

An ante is a small bet that all players must make before each hand is dealt. These are typically a nickel in our games, but the amount varies by game.

Betting begins with the player to the left of the big blind and continues clockwise until all players have made a bet. The ante is an important part of the strategy for many games, because it gives the pot a value right off the bat.

The players are then required to reveal their hands, starting with the player sitting in the first-to-act position. This player will reveal a set of two cards and a fifth card, which breaks ties.

The next betting round begins with the player to the left of the dealer. This player can call the previous bet, raise, or check.