Poker is a game of chance in which players bet money into a pot. The player with the highest-ranking hand at the end of the betting rounds wins the pot.
The first deal is made by the dealer, who gives each player one card facedown and one card faceup. A betting interval follows, followed by a showdown in which the hole cards are shown to all players.
Depending on the rules, each active player may also be allowed to draw replacement cards for his own facedown hand. The cards discarded by each player are then reshuffled and given to the next active player, who begins the drawing process in turn. The process continues, with a second betting interval and a showdown, until one player has been eliminated or all the remaining players have folded.
There are many different forms of poker, but the core rules remain the same. Generally, players must bet the minimum amount established in advance of the deal and cannot raise the bets of other players.
A standard poker hand consists of five cards, with the rank or sequence determined by their odds (probability). A flush contains any 5 cards of the same suit, whereas a straight consists of 5 consecutive cards of a single suit.
The best hands in poker are the royal flush and straight flush, which beat any other combination. The next most valuable hands are four of a kind, three of a kind, and two pairs.