Poker is a card game in which players wager with chips that represent money (the “pot”). After each round of betting, the player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot. Poker is a game of chance, but it requires significant skill to be played well. In fact, the application of skill can eliminate the random variance of luck that is inherent in the game.
The game is usually played with a standard pack of 52 cards. Some variant games use multiple packs or add jokers. The cards are ranked as follows: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
A full house contains three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, such as three 8s and two 4s. A flush contains five consecutive cards of the same suit, such as Q, 10, 7, 6 and 5 of clubs. A straight contains five cards of consecutive rank but different suits, such as 7, 5, 6, 4 and 3 of clubs. A pair contains two distinct cards of the same rank, such as two fours or two threes. The highest pair breaks ties.
To begin a hand, the player to the left of the button (or buck) places a bet into the pot. Then the dealer deals a hand of cards to each player, face down. The first player to act may either call or raise the bet. The rest of the players then reveal their cards in a showdown to determine the winner.