Poker is a card game in which the players compete for a pot of money. It is played in private homes, in gambling establishments, and at poker clubs.

There are many different forms of poker, but they all involve the same basic strategy: a player must make a bet of a certain amount of chips, called a “pot,” and call (match), raise (increase), or fold (pushing their cards into the middle and surrendering any chance to win the hand).

In most games, players begin with a predetermined number of chips; in some, this number may vary, depending on the rules of the specific variant being played. The first player to the left of the dealer, as designated by the rules of the variant being played, is given the privilege or obligation of making the first bet.

Then, each player to the left of the dealer must either call, putting into the pot the same number of chips as the previous player; raise, putting into the pot more than enough chips to call; or fold, putting no chips into the pot, avoiding any further betting until the next deal.

Some poker games have forced bets, called antes or blinds, which must be placed before each hand is dealt. These require a minimum amount of chips to be put into the pot and are rotated around the table each round, with players taking turns making the bets.

The highest hand in standard poker is a royal flush, which includes a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit. It cannot be beaten by a straight flush or any other type of flush.