Poker is a game in which players compete against each other to win a pot. The pot is composed of all the bets placed by the players in a round. At the end of each round, all of these bets are placed into a central pot, and the person with the highest hand wins the pot.

The best hand in poker is a straight flush, which consists of five cards of the same suit. An ace can be high or low, but it cannot wrap around a pair of kings or a pair of queens. A straight flush that contains the ace is called a Royal Flush.

The betting round of poker begins with a forced bet called the ante or blind. Players must bet according to the rank of their hands, and each player must match the previous bet or raise if they want to raise. When the betting round is complete, the game is called a showdown. The winning hand is revealed to the table clockwise.

In addition to the basic game, there are many variations of poker. There are several variations that involve fewer than five cards. Some of these are Three-Card Monte and Spit-in-the-Ocean. Each game is a little different and can involve as many as ten players.