Poker is a card game that requires a combination of skill and luck. It can be played by two to seven players. It is usually played with a classic 52-card English deck that contains four of each card (aces, kings, queens, and jacks) in each of the suits of hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds. The game may also use wild cards or jokers, but it is best to play without them.

The goal of the game is to win the pot — all the chips that have been bet during one deal. The player who has the highest ranked hand when all players have shown their cards wins the pot. A player can choose to fold if they do not have a good hand. This can be done during or after the betting.

Depending on the rules of a particular game, the first player to act has the privilege or obligation to make the first bet. Then the other players must either call the bet or raise it. When a player raises, they must put in an amount equal to or higher than the previous bet.

The rank of hands is determined by their odds (probability). Identical hands tie and share any winnings equally. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched cards or secondary pairs (in a full house, for example). Ties that involve three or more matching cards are called straights, while ties that include four of a kind and pairs are called flushes.