Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It is a game of chance and skill, in which bets are placed on the outcome of a hand, with each player contributing some amount of money to the pot according to his or her own assessment of expected value. In addition, players may place forced bets in the form of an ante or blind bet.

A poker game is usually played with a standard 52-card pack, although some variant games use multiple packs or add cards called jokers. The cards are ranked in the following order (high to low): Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3. A poker hand consists of five cards and must meet certain criteria in order to win. When comparing hands of the same category, the higher hand wins (e.g., a high pair beats two pairs).


A key to winning poker is being in position to act last in the post-flop portion of a hand. To maximize your chances of being in position, you should raise more hands than your opponents and call fewer hands.

Paying attention to your opponents and reading them is an important part of poker. This doesn’t just mean looking for subtle physical poker “tells” but rather understanding their betting patterns. For example, if an opponent is betting all the time it’s likely they have a strong hand. On the other hand, if an opponent is calling all the time they have weaker hands.