Poker is a game of skill and chance. To win, players must try to maximize their winnings with good hands. However, they also have to avoid losing too much with bad ones. Among the various poker games, Texas hold ’em has become the most popular.

Poker is played using a standard 52 card deck, although some variants feature jokers or more cards. The game may include an ante or forced bet.

Most games require a minimum number of chips to start. There are different types of chips, but the standard colors are red, black and green. Besides the usual black or green, there are blue and gold chips. Depending on the variation, there are special rules that govern the way the cards are dealt.

For example, a “straight flush” is the best natural hand. If several players have a flush, the card with the highest ranking wins. A straight is a collection of five cards, all of the same suit. Likewise, a “straight flush” is a pair of kings or higher, plus one card of a lower rank.

A “high card” breaks ties when more than one player has the same high card. Generally, the best high card is an ace.

Some poker variations feature a “side pot” for additional money bet by remaining players. These pots are not part of the main pot, and if any player leaves the game early, he or she does not get their chips back.