Poker is a game of chance that involves a large element of luck and some strategy. It is played by two or more players with cards dealt face up and placed in the center of the table. The object of the game is to win a “pot”—the sum total of all bets made on a hand. A player places a bet voluntarily by raising or calling. Bets are based on probability, psychology, and game theory. The player who has the highest-ranking poker hand wins the pot.

Unless otherwise specified, all bets are made in units of a low-denomination poker chip. In most games, the white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; the red chip is worth five white chips; and the blue chip is worth 10 whites.

When a hand is in play, the dealer deals three cards to the table face up. These are called the flop. Players can now make bets on the strength of their own hand or they can fold. If they fold, their card is turned down and the hand ends.

In most poker games, four of a kind is the highest hand. If two hands have four of a kind, they tie and share the prize money. If two hands have identical pairs, the higher rank of one of the pair wins (for example, a pair of queens beats a pair of jacks). Identical straights and flushes break ties using the high-card rule.