Poker is a card game played by two or more players against each other. It is a game of chance, but also a game of strategy, math, and psychology. The game can help to develop discipline and strong decision-making skills, which are useful both at the poker table and in life. It can also be a way to relax and take your mind off other problems.

There are many variants of the game. In a standard game, cards are dealt in clockwise order, with the player to the left of the dealer acting first. Each player has a choice of whether to call, raise, or fold. A raise is an increase in the amount of money you place into the pot. A raise is often used to get value from a strong hand, or as a bluff against an opponent with a weak hand.

A strong hand is one that contains four matching cards of the same rank, or five consecutive cards of the same suit. The highest hand is a royal flush.

A good poker player focuses on making a profit over the long run by winning small pots rather than big ones. They play tight and conservative early on to avoid getting bluffed into folding, and they watch the habits of other players. Aggressive players will often bet high early on in a hand, and these players can be bluffed into folding by playing a more conservative hand.