Poker is a game played by two or more people on a table with cards and chips. The aim is to have the highest-ranking poker hand at the end of the betting round. The game can be played in many different variants, but the basic rules are similar across all of them.

Depending on the rules of a particular game, one or more players are required to place an initial amount into the pot before being dealt their cards. This is known as a forced bet and can take the form of an ante, blind bet, or bring-in bet.

After the dealer shuffles, the player on his or her right may cut. The dealer then deals each player a number of cards (the exact quantity depends on the variant being played) starting with the player to his or her left. Usually, the cards are dealt face up, although some games deal them face down.

The game is fast-paced and betting takes place in rounds. During each betting round, players can bet, raise, or fold. Players can also check if they do not wish to bet, meaning that they pass their turn.

The rank of standard poker hands is determined by their odds (probability). Normally, fours of a kind beat straight hands. When ties occur, they are broken by the highest unmatched card or secondary pairs in a full house (three of a kind and a pair). Ties may also be broken by a wild card.