Poker is a card game in which players place bets over which hand they think is best. While different forms of the game may differ slightly in deck configuration, dealing arrangements and betting rules, all involve a certain degree of skill.

The game starts with each player making a fixed minimum bet (called the blind) before cards are dealt. Two cards are then dealt to each player, face down. Each player can then choose to raise or fold their hand, based on whether they believe their hand is the strongest or not. The player with the strongest hand wins the pot – a sum of money paid by other players in return for participating in the round.

Some players try to increase their chances of winning by bluffing, which involves betting in a way that suggests your hand is better than it actually is. This can cause other players to believe you and fold rather than take your risk of a showdown with you, increasing your chance of winning.

When all players have finished their betting rounds, the remaining hands are revealed and a showdown takes place. The player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot. The hands can be ranked as follows: Royal flush (A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit); Straight flush (five cards in a sequence, all the same suit); Four of a kind (four matching cards); Full house (three matching cards plus a pair); High card (the highest card wins). The dealer is the first person to deal and then the position passes clockwise around the table.