Poker is a game of chance. Each player starts the game by placing an ante. This varies depending on the game. Each player then bets into a central pot of chips. The player with the best hand wins the pot. Players place bets in a clockwise direction and continue betting until everyone calls or folds. Then the next player must show their hand. This process is repeated until only those players with the best hand remain in the game.

When the game starts, players place forced bets (called ante) or blind bets (bets that are not made until the dealer has dealt all the cards). The dealer then shuffles and cuts the cards. Then, each player is dealt one card, sometimes face up or face down. This initial deal starts the betting round, and each player has an opportunity to check or raise. After each hand, the players may decide to split the pot and share it among themselves.

While cash games are aimed at winning money, poker tournaments have different objectives. The goal of a poker tournament is to be on top of the chip leaderboard. In both, players bluff to win money while holding the best hand at the showdown. The hands can range from a high card to a Royal Flush. One of the more common hands in poker is a straight flush, which consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit.