Poker is a card game with many variations that can be played by two or more players. In most forms the object is to win the pot, which is the sum of all bets made during one deal. This may be done by having the highest-ranking poker hand, or by betting enough to make other players fold.

The game begins when an initial dealer is chosen. This can be a person, a non-player, or the player to the left of the button. A shuffled deck is then dealt to each player. The player with the highest card becomes the first dealer, and a chip is passed around to indicate this role.

After each round of betting, the remaining players reveal their cards and the player with the best hand wins the pot. Players can also bluff, raising their bets without having a good hand in order to induce others to fold and thus maximize their profits.

In poker, a hand is comprised of five cards that can form different combinations. A high hand consists of three cards of the same rank and two matching cards of another rank. A straight consists of 5 cards in consecutive order, and a flush consists of five consecutive cards from the same suit. A pair consists of two cards of the same rank, and three other unmatched cards make up a full house.

Regardless of the specific rules of a particular game, there are certain general rules that apply to all games of poker. The key to success in poker is developing quick instincts, rather than trying to memorize and apply complicated systems. Practice and watch experienced players to build these instincts.