Poker is a card game in which players compete to make the best five-card hand. The highest hand wins the pot.

Several variants of poker have been developed, but the basic rules are the same. In the simplest form, a dealer shuffles and deals two cards to each player. The players then choose to fold, call (match the bet), or raise.

The bets are collected into a central pot, and betting rounds are played until one player has all of their chips or everyone folds. If more than one player remains in the pot, a showdown occurs where the cards are revealed.

A five of a kind is the highest possible hand, consisting of five cards that have the same rank. If multiple hands have a five of a kind, the higher hand breaks ties and takes the pot.

Straights and flushes are also possible, but a five of a kind is always the highest. A hand with five cards that does not qualify as any of the above five types of hands, including a straight or flush, is called a high card.

The first step in playing poker is to understand the basic rules of the game. Usually, the rules require one or more players to place an initial bet, which is called an ante. The ante is usually a small amount of money, such as $1 or $5.