Poker is a card game in which players independently compete to assemble the best possible five-card hand. Players place bets based on the strength of their hand, or bluff by betting that they have a strong hand when they do not. The game is played with cards and chips (called a pot). There are many different poker games, with some being more difficult to win than others. The most popular poker games are Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and 7-card stud.

In most poker games, each player buys in with a fixed number of chips. Each chip has a value assigned to it, such as a white chip worth one unit, or a red chip worth five units. Players must also make forced bets, called blind bets, to stay in the hand.

Once everyone has their two personal cards, a round of betting starts. A third card is then dealt face up, known as the flop. Then a further round of betting starts, with bets made by the players to the left of the dealer.

The goal of poker is to have a high-value hand before the river card is revealed. This can be done by combining the cards in your own hand with those on the table, or by forming a pair. Other good hands include a full house (2 matching cards of the same rank and 2 unmatched cards) or a straight (5 consecutive cards of the same suit). The highest-ranking hand is a royal flush, which includes a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit.