Poker is a card game for two or more players. It is a game of chance, but also involves elements of psychology and mathematics. In the modern game, each player places bets into a central pot in accordance with his or her perceived odds of winning. Each player may also choose to bluff, in which case other players must either call the bet or surrender their own hands. The object is to win the central pot by having the highest-ranking hand at the end of a betting round. The rules vary slightly between different games.

Each round begins with one or more forced bets, usually an ante and a blind bet. The dealer then shuffles and deals cards to the players, one at a time, beginning with the player to his or her right. Cards can be dealt face-up or face-down, depending on the game. The first bets are made by players with the best hands and, in general, a player will want to hold his or her hand until the betting is finished.

The highest-ranking poker hand is a royal flush, which contains the 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit. The next highest hand is a straight, which contains 5 consecutive cards of the same suit (such as A-5-3-2 in spades). Four of a kind is 4 matching cards of the same rank. High card breaks ties when hands tie on rank of pairs, three of a kind, etc.