Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games. It is a game of skill and chance, but it also requires a large amount of patience and discipline. In order to win at poker, you must be able to resist the temptations of human nature and stick with your plan, even when it’s boring or frustrating.

The game begins with a round of betting that is initiated by 2 mandatory bets called blinds put into the pot by the players to the left of the dealer. Once all players have 2 hole cards, the flop is dealt face up. There is another round of betting, starting with the player to the left of the button.

Once all the players have seen the flop, there is a turn and then a river. The person with the best 5-card hand wins the pot. The best hand is a flush, which contains 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. A full house has 3 matching cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another rank, while two pair is made up of 2 pairs of unmatched cards.

A key part of poker is learning to read the board. This is done through a combination of studying previous hands, using software and watching other players play at the table. This will help you develop an intuition for things like frequencies and EV estimation, which will become automatic considerations in your decision making process.