Poker is a card game of chance and skill in which players place bets on the strength of their cards. There are a number of different variations of the game, but they all have some things in common. For instance, they all involve cards and chips and are played with a dealer. The object of the game is to win a pot, which is the sum of all bets made by players during one betting interval. There are a number of different ways to win the pot, including having the best hand or simply raising the most bets.

Depending on the rules of a particular poker variant, one or more players are required to place an initial amount of money into the pot before the cards are dealt. These bets are called forced bets and may take the form of antes, blinds, or bring-ins.

Each player is dealt a set number of cards in a single deal, which can be either face-up or face-down, depending on the game. The first player to the left of the dealer is then given the opportunity to make a bet, and subsequent players must match or raise his bet or fold their cards.

The poker card deck has 53 cards plus the joker, which is designated as wild and counts as a fifth ace in a straight or certain special hands. The highest poker hand is a royal flush, which includes the ace, king, queen, and jack of all suits. Other high hands include a full house, which consists of three matching cards of the same rank, and a flush, which contains five consecutive cards of the same suit. Two pairs are also considered a high poker hand.