Poker is a card game in which players place chips (representing money, for which the game is almost invariably played) into the pot. During each betting interval, one player – designated by the rules of the particular poker variant being played – has the privilege or obligation to make the first bet. Each player in turn must place a number of chips into the pot at least equal to the total contribution made by the player who has gone before him.
After a betting interval is complete the dealer deals three additional cards face up on the table which everyone can use. This is known as the flop. It is important to know how the flop will affect your hand before betting. If you have a pocket king or queen and the board has tons of aces your hand is strong but it will be very easy for someone else to beat you with a much better hand.
After the flop betting round is over, each player has seven cards to create their best five-card poker hand. The player with the best poker hand wins the pot. The pot includes all the bets made during each betting interval. If no player has a good poker hand, all the players share a pot. In some games the players may also establish a kitty, from which one low-denomination chip is taken at each time there is more than one raise. This is usually used to pay for new decks of cards and other necessities of the game.