Poker is a card game in which players try to make the best hand. The best hand wins the pot, which is an aggregate of all bets in a round.

The highest possible hand is five of a kind, which beats any straight flush or any combination of two identical hands (e.g., three of a kind minus a wild card). The highest possible hand may also be a full house, which is made up of three of a kind and a pair of the same cards.

A standard pack of cards is used to play the game, although some variant games use multiple packs or add jokers. The cards are ranked from high to low, and there are four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs).

Each player receives a certain number of cards in the initial deal. The dealer shuffles the cards and deals them to each player in turn, starting with the player on the left.

When all the players have been dealt their cards, the first betting round begins. Each player to the left must either “call” or “raise” the bet by placing the same number of chips in the pot; or they may “drop” or “fold,” which means that they put no chips in the pot and discard their hand.

In cash games, the betting rounds continue until one person has all of their chips or everyone folds. If no one has any chips left, a showdown takes place where all the hands are revealed and the player with the best hand wins the pot.