Poker is a gambling game in which players bet a fixed amount into a communal pot of money. The goal of the game is to win the most money by having the best hand, or by bluffing other players into betting against their hands.

Poker can be played by two to eight players, and is most commonly played in a casino setting or at home. A player starts the game by deciding how many chips to buy and how much to put into the pot.

A standard pack of 52 cards (some variant games use multiple packs or add a few cards called jokers) are dealt to the players. The cards are ranked (from high to low) Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

In some variants, the dealer shuffles and deals the cards in rotation among the players. In casual play, the right to deal a hand is marked by a token called a dealer button (or buck).

The dealer deals one card at a time in clockwise order and then begins a round of betting. A betting round ends when all active players have placed an equal amount into the pot.

To bet, players place chips in front of themselves, but not directly into the pot (“splashing the pot” prevents other players from verifying the bet). A player may “call” or “raise” a bet.

To fold, a player pushes their cards into the middle and surrenders their chance of winning. They can also check, which means they do not bet but let the other players decide whether to call their bet or raise it.