Poker is a card game that involves betting between two or more players. It is considered a game of chance, but it also involves a considerable amount of psychology and strategy. It is important to learn the rules and practice before playing with real money. It is also necessary to keep records and pay taxes on winnings. A good place to start is with a small stakes game and work your way up.

Before the cards are dealt, one player, called the button (which moves clockwise after each hand), must make forced bets by posting the small blind and then the big blind. These bets create an incentive to play and prevent players from simply folding their cards preflop and losing a lot of chips.

The dealer then shuffles the cards and cuts them by the player to their right, after which they are dealt face down to each player. In some games, the players may be allowed to exchange a few of their cards for new ones from an undealt portion of the deck, but this is not always a part of the game.

When betting, the players must try to make the best five card poker hand possible. The highest hand wins. If a hand ties on rank (such as a four of a kind), the high card breaks the tie. In some games, the player with a wild card (often called jokers) can substitute for any card in a poker hand.