Poker is a card game that involves betting and a great deal of skill. There is also a large element of chance, but this is not as important at lower stakes games where players are not putting all of their chips at risk. There are some rules of etiquette that players follow to make sure the game runs smoothly.

During each round of poker the player must place an initial amount of money into the pot before they get their cards dealt. This is called an ante and the amount varies depending on the game.

The dealer deals everyone a set number of cards. When it is their turn to act they may call, check, or fold. If they call or raise the player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot. The winning hand can be any combination of five cards that meets the required criteria.

After the first betting round is complete the dealer will put three more cards face up on the table that anyone can use. This is called the flop. The players that still have a hand then take turns revealing their cards.

Having position is very important because you have more information than the other players. This will give you a better idea of the strength of your opponent’s hand and you can adjust your strategy accordingly. For example, if you have pocket fives and the flop comes A-8-5 you can probably expect to be called by someone with a pair of aces. In this case you should consider raising because you have excellent bluffing opportunities against that kind of player.