Poker is a card game played by two or more players and won by the player with the best five-card hand according to the rules of the variant being played. Each player has private cards which they keep hidden until the showdown, at which time they reveal their hands. A pair consists of two matching cards of one rank, three of a kind has three matching cards of another rank, four of a kind has four matching cards of the same rank, and a straight contains five consecutive cards of the same suit (skipping ranks).
While luck plays a significant role in winning any single hand, a skilled player can significantly outperform their competition over the long run. Some of the most important skills in poker include patience, reading other players, adaptability, and developing strategies.
Mathematical concepts like odds, frequencies, and EV estimation can seem intimidating but they become easier to understand with practice. Eventually you will develop an intuition for them and they will become a natural consideration during a hand.
Observing experienced players can also help you develop quick instincts. Pay attention to how they bet and call, how they manage their stack, and their mood shifts. This will allow you to mimic their behavior and become a better player. In the long run, this is more valuable than trying to memorize complex systems and applying them blindly.