Poker is a card game in which players place bets (representing money) into a central pot. Players have the option to call or fold their cards, and the player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot. While poker involves a significant amount of chance, it also has elements of skill and psychology. In fact, some players may intentionally bluff other players for strategic reasons.

The game is played from a standard 52-card pack; some games add wild cards or other special cards. The suits are spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. The rank of a card is determined by its suit; an Ace is high, a King is low, and so on.

Before dealing the cards, each player makes a forced bet, usually an ante or blind bet. The dealer then shuffles the cards, cuts and deals them to each player, one at a time, beginning with the player on the button (or, if there is no button, the first player to the left). Cards are dealt either face-up or face-down; depending on the variant of poker being played.

After the deal, there is a betting interval (which may be followed by a showdown). Once the betting is over, each player must reveal their cards and the highest-ranked hand wins the pot.