Poker is a card game in which the players are dealt cards and then place bets. The player who has the best five-card hand wins the pot.
Games of poker have many variants, but they all share the same basic rules. A standard 52-card deck is used and the cards are ranked from high to low, with four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs).
Some games use jokers as wild cards. These can take on any suit and rank, and may also be used to change a player’s hand if they have a bad card or two.
There are also some variations, such as high low split games, where the highest and lowest hands divide the pot.
In many poker games, each player must contribute a small amount of money or chips before the deal begins; these are called forced bets. These can be one unit, a proportion of the minimum bet, or a fixed number of units.
Once the ante is paid, players can start betting and raising. If a player raises, other players must call or fold.
Check: In some games, a player may “check” the pot when they do not want to make a bet. This allows them to avoid being bluffing and putting their entire hand into the pot.
In most games, the first bet is made by the player with the highest-ranking poker combination in his faceup cards. If no one has this combination, then the next player bets.