Poker is a card game that involves a large amount of chance, but it also has significant skill and psychology. This article is meant to provide a basic primer into the rules of poker, for more information I recommend getting one of the many books available on the subject.
In a typical game of poker players must first place forced bets (the amount varies by game) in order to receive their cards. The dealer then shuffles the deck, the player on their left has the option to cut the deck and then the dealer deals each player five cards one at a time, beginning with the player on their left.
Once the cards are dealt betting begins, players must either call or raise the bet to stay in the hand. Then, if all players have matched the bet or raised it to the highest amount, the remaining players advance to the next betting round known as the flop.
The flop is a community set of cards that all players are dealt. It is important to realize that even if you are holding a great starting hand, the flop can change everything.
The best hand is a straight consisting of 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. A full house contains 3 matching cards of a rank and 2 unmatched cards. A high pair is two distinct pairs of cards and the highest pair wins ties. A high card is any card that breaks ties between the highest pair and other hands.