Poker is a game of chance played with cards. It is a competitive card game in which players bet in order to win. The goal of the game is to obtain the best hand of five cards. A pair of aces is the smallest possible hand, while a straight flush is the highest.

To begin the game, the dealer distributes cards to the players. The first player to the left of the button is the first to act. He or she can either post the big blind or check. This is a forced bet and gives the other players something to chase.

The dealer then burns one of the cards from the top of the deck. This card is the highest card in the pack and is used to break ties if several people have a high hand.

The cards are then dealt to the players in turn. The player with the highest straight will win the pot. If there are ties, the highest unmatched fifth card will break the tie.

The dealer then passes the turn and the next player gets the chance to bet. The player to the left of the big blind has the honor of making the first bet. If a player raises, he or she must call.

The most important feature of the game is bluffing. This involves a little luck and a lot of skill. A poker player uses his or her knowledge of the rules, psychology, and probability to make decisions.