Poker is a card game in which players bet money and place chips into a pot, the total of all bets made during one deal. The object is to win the pot, either by having a high-ranking hand or by making a bet that no other player calls. There are many variations of the game, but most involve betting and a showdown in which the players reveal their cards.

Players make a contribution to the pot before each round of betting, known as the ante. Depending on the rules, they may also be able to draw replacement cards from the undealt portion of the deck. These additional cards may change the strength of their hand.

A poker hand consists of five cards. In most variants, only the best five-card hand wins the pot. A straight consists of five consecutive cards of the same rank. A flush consists of five cards of the same suit that skip around in rank, but not in sequence. A full house consists of three matching cards of the same rank and two matching cards of another rank. A pair consists of two matching cards of the same rank, plus one unmatched card.

During a betting interval, a player can bet more than the previous player by saying “raise.” If someone raises, other players must choose to call (match the amount raised) or fold. In some games, a player can also say “check” to stay in the pot without raising their own bet.