The game of poker is a card game in which players place wagers on the outcome of a hand. It is considered a game of skill, and many professional players have made their living playing it. The skill required to become a good player is extensive and varied; it requires patience, discipline, perseverance, and sharp focus. It also requires a clear mind and confidence, which often translate into an advantage over other players.

A player may say “call” or “I call” if they wish to match the last bet in the current hand and add their own chips to the pot. Players can also fold, which means that they put their cards face down on the table and withdraw from the hand.

Generally, each player is dealt a total of five cards. The best five-card hand wins the pot. The other cards, known as the community, are shared among all players in a betting round that is open to raising and re-raising.

There are a variety of ways to win a poker hand, including a straight, three of a kind, or four of a kind. Straights and three of a kinds involve five consecutive cards that make up your hand, while four of a kind involves five identical cards from the same suit.

A basic strategy in poker involves learning how to play against the other players at the table. A strong player will look to work out the range of hands that an opponent could be holding, and will try to estimate how likely it is that they will hit their needed cards on the flop, turn, or river in order to complete their hand.