Poker is a family of card games in which players wager on which hand is the best. The rules vary among different variants, but all involve a deal and a round of betting, followed by a showdown.

In a standard game, each player is dealt five cards face down and must place an ante in the pot. After that, players may discard up to three cards and take replacements from the top of the deck. A betting interval then follows, and another hand is revealed.

The highest hand wins ties. If two or more hands have the same high hand, a fifth card breaks them.

Almost all poker games use the standard 52-card pack, but some use short packs, such as 32 or 40 cards. These cards are shuffled before each deal.

Most games are played with chips, which stand in for money, although some variations use coins. Chips make it easier to stack, count, and change money at the table.

Some poker games have a limit, which means that a certain number of bets or raises are allowed in any betting interval. In fixed-limit games, the limit is set before the start of a betting interval.

Some players prefer to stay in a game and not bet, which is called “checking.” If there is no other bet before them in that betting interval, they can check. They can also raise a bet that has already been made by another player in the same interval, which is called sandbagging.