Poker is a card game played by people in a group. The game starts with everyone putting in an amount of money (the amount varies by game and is often represented as chips). A player who has the best five cards wins the pot. This happens after many rounds of betting when the highest hand has been shown. This is often a high pair, a straight, a flush or even a Royal Flush.
A Royal Flush is a sequence of the highest ranking cards in one suit (clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades). It is beaten only by another Royal Flush and is considered the strongest poker hand. A straight is a series of 5 cards of consecutive rank but different suits. A flush is a sequence of five cards of the same suit. A full house is three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. The highest pair is used to break ties.
It is important to remember that the best hands can be made with a variety of cards, including ones which are not part of your hand. A good poker player will use this fact to his or her advantage by deceiving opponents into thinking that they have a better hand than they really do.
A good strategy for new players is to start at the lowest stakes possible. This will help them learn the game without donating large sums of money to stronger players.