Poker is a card game of skill where players place bets for the opportunity to win a hand. The game has many variants, but all involve betting in rounds and raising of bets by a player or players with a strong hand. It is possible to bluff, which can force other players to fold their hands and raise the value of a winning hand. The goal of a player is to make the best possible five-card poker hand.
When a hand is played, all players must place at least one bet, called an ante or blind bet. Then the dealer shuffles and deals cards to each player, beginning with the player to their left. The cards may be dealt face up or face down, depending on the variant of the game being played. After each round, the players show their cards and then the winner is declared.
In most games, the lowest hand is a pair of aces (or 7-5-4-3 in two or more suits). A flush contains 5 cards of consecutive rank but from different suits. Three of a kind is 3 matching cards of the same rank. A straight is a series of 5 consecutive cards in a suit, while a full house is 3 matching cards of the same rank and 2 unmatched cards.
In fixed limit poker, the maximum amount a player may raise in any betting interval is determined by the limit set for that particular game. The standard 53-card pack includes a joker that counts only as the fifth ace or in certain special hands.