Poker is a card game in which players independently try to assemble the best possible hand of cards. It is played with one or more betting intervals, depending on the variant of poker. The object is to win the pot, which represents all bets placed in a given deal. A player may choose to check, raise (put more chips into the pot than the previous player), call or fold.

Each player buys in for a set amount of money, usually white or light-colored chips that represent cash. The first player to the left of the dealer has the right to open the betting. Once everyone has two hole cards, the flop is dealt. Then there is another round of betting. If nobody has a good poker hand, then the players reveal their cards and the highest ranking poker hand wins the pot.

Most forms of poker are played with a standard pack of 52 cards. Each card has a rank, from high to low, and a suit. The highest pair, three of a kind, and four of a kind are the strongest poker hands. If there is a tie, the highest card breaks it.

In the early days of poker, it was commonly believed that a pair of kings and an ace were unbeatable. This top hand is sometimes referred to as the “royal flush.” The most common poker variations use a five-card hand. In addition, some games add wild cards that can take the rank and suit of any other card.