Poker is a card game that requires skills in probability, psychology, and game theory. The game can be played for pennies, matchsticks, or thousands of dollars.

To play a poker game, you need a table and chairs (preferably a round one) and poker chips, which stand in for money. Players exchange cash for their chips at the start of each game, which they then use to place bets on the cards.

In some poker games, players may be required to make an initial contribution into the pot before they are dealt their cards; these are called ante bets. The first player to bet is deemed to be the “first” player, and all others must call or fold.

After the cards are dealt, there are several rounds of betting between each hand. In each of these betting rounds, players can check – pass on the bet or bet – put more chips into the pot that their opponents must match, or raise – bet more chips on top of their opponent’s previous bet.

The next betting round continues until all of the players have folded, or a showdown is held, where the hands are revealed and the highest-ranking hand wins. The winning hand is the hand with the best combination of the cards dealt to that player.

The standard poker hands are a straight, two pair, three of a kind, four of a kind, five of a kind, and six of a kind. A straight beats any two pairs, and a three of a kind beats a pair.