There is a lot of skill in poker, especially when betting is involved. When no money is on the line it’s mostly a game of chance but as soon as the betting begins the skill level dramatically increases.
There are some basic hands that are always going to win, such as two pair (two cards of equal rank and three unrelated side cards) and a straight (five consecutive cards of the same suit). A Flush is four cards of the same suits in one hand (all clubs, all diamonds, all hearts or all spades). A Full House is two matching pairs plus a single higher card (for example four jacks or eights). A high card is one card of any rank.
Once the first round of betting is complete the dealer puts three cards face up on the table that anyone can use, these are called the flop. Then everyone gets another opportunity to check, raise or fold.
If you have a strong poker hand at this point you want to raise and force weaker hands out of the pot. It’s also a good time to bluff if you have the right timing and bluffing skills.
As you play more and watch experienced players, you’ll develop quick instincts about how to play a hand. These intuitions will help you avoid some costly mistakes and increase your chances of winning.