Poker is a card game played with two or more players, each holding a hand of cards. The object of the game is to make the best possible poker hand, based on the combination of your cards and those of the other players.

The cards are dealt from a standard 52-card deck, sometimes with one or two jokers. The deal is interrupted for a betting interval, which can take any number of rounds depending on the rules of the variant. The shuffled deck is then passed to the next dealer.

Each player receives one card facedown (a “hole card”) and one card faceup. The player with the lowest hand starts, then play proceeds clockwise around the table until everyone has a chance to bet or fold.

Betting is a major component of the game, and it consists of a series of bets in which the player to the left calls, raises or drops out of the betting. The bets are gathered into a pot, which may be won by the player who holds the highest poker hand or by any other player who calls a bet that no one else makes.

The rank of poker hands is determined by their odds (probability). If two or more identical hands are held, the suits have no relative rank and thus any winnings are divided equally.

The highest possible hand is five of a kind, which beats any straight flush and any other three-card hand that does not include a wild card. Other high hands include four of a kind and full house, which are combinations of three-of-a-kind and a pair.