Poker is a card game, usually played between two to seven players and involving betting. It is a game of skill, and good players will have a range of different strategies. The objective of the game is to have the highest-ranking hand at the end of the round. This can be accomplished by raising or folding your hand. A player can also win the pot by making a bet that no other players call, or by bluffing. The rules of poker vary slightly between games, but they all involve betting on a hand.

The game is played with standard playing cards, and may include wild cards or other special cards (depending on the variant being played). The suits are spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs; no suit is higher than another. The highest-ranking poker hand is the straight flush, consisting of five consecutive cards from the same suit. Other winning hands include the full house and the pair.

Before the deal, players must buy in by placing a bet, known as buying in. The number of chips each player must buy in depends on the poker variant being played. In most cases, a white chip is worth one unit, and a red chip is worth five whites.

The game begins with each player receiving 2 cards. A round of betting then takes place, with the player to the left of the dealer being the first to make a bet. The player to his left can choose to call the bet, raise it, or fold.