Poker is a card game that is played in many countries throughout the world. It is particularly popular in the United States, where it originated.

Players put down a small amount of money, called an ante, at the start of the hand. Then they are dealt three cards, one face down and two face up.

The player with the lowest hand starts first and play proceeds clockwise around the table until everyone has had a chance to place bets. The person with the highest hand wins the pot.

A player can call a bet, raise the amount of the previous bet, or fold. A player can also check, which means that they do not make a bet but stay in the hand until a betting interval has ended.

Five-card hands

The most common winning combinations in poker are high cards, pairs, and straights. A high card is based on the value of the one card of the highest rank in the players hand; a pair is two cards of the same number, and a straight is a running sequence of cards, regardless of suit.

Full House – This colorful hand contains three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. It is usually made up of two pair, like two 5s and two 9s, but can also be formed with a single pair, such as ace-king or king-deuce.

Flush – This is a straight-type hand of five cards, all of the same suit. It can be made with a single suit or with two or more suits.