Poker is a game of chance that is played by groups of people around a circular or oval table. The cards are dealt face up or down, and players evaluate their hands before betting.
A poker hand consists of five cards. Players may discard as many cards as they like, and they can replace any card already dealt to them. However, if two or more players have the same cards, a tie is formed. This is broken by the next highest card.
Poker is most often played with a standard deck of 52 cards. In addition to the five cards, a joker can be added as a fifth wild card. It counts as any suit for a flush, and as an ace for a straight.
To start the game, the initial dealer cuts the cards from the shuffled deck. Each player is given a hand and has an obligation to make a bet. If no other players call, the betting round ends.
When the betting is done, a showdown is held. The player with the best hand wins the pot.
If there are more than one player left, each player can check, raise, or fold. These actions are made in clockwise order.
Betting and bluffing are common strategies used in poker. Some players will try to convince opponents to fold by putting in a large bet when they have a poor hand.
There are also games that require players to put in an ante before the deal. The amount of ante varies from game to game.