Poker is a card game in which players bet against each other and compete for the highest hand. It is played worldwide but is most popular in North America, where it originated.

Poker consists of a number of different games, all with their own rules and variations. These include cash games, tournaments, and limit and no-limit hold’em.

Before the cards are dealt, each player is required to put an initial contribution into the pot, called an ante or blind. These contributions determine the amount of chips that all the players receive.

The cards are then dealt to each player in turn, starting with the player on the left side of the table. Each player is then able to make bets, call, raise or fold in the course of the deal.

General Rules

A straight is 5 cards in order, such as 4-5-6-7-8. An ace may be high (A-K-Q-J-T) or low (5-4-3-2-1).

When straights tie, the highest winning straight wins; if two straights have the same value, they split the pot.

Four of a kind is three cards of any rank and matched with two cards that are not a pair; the highest four of a kind wins.

Royal Flush is a straight flush with an ace high; the highest natural hand.

Unlike most other types of games, Poker is a game that focuses on skill over luck. While good hands and luck can help you win, the real key to success is avoiding bad ones and getting dealt great cards when you need them.