Poker is a card game of chance, strategy and skill in which players bet by raising or folding. The game is played in many places including private homes, in poker clubs, and in casinos. It has been described as the national card game of the United States, and its play and jargon are widely known.
There are several variants of Poker, but they all involve betting and a showdown with a single hand. The first step in the game is an initial forced bet (an ante or blind). The dealer then shuffles and deals each player two cards face up. A series of betting intervals follows until all players are satisfied with their hands.
If a player has a pair of distinct cards, they win. If they have a high pair, the highest card wins. If two or more players have the same high pair, then the rank of the next card in each hand determines who wins.
A flush is 5 cards of consecutive rank in the same suit. A full house is 3 matching cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another. A straight is five cards of consecutive rank, but from different suits.
In some games, a special pot called the kitty may be established for chips raised by players in each round of betting. The players who contribute to the kitty, called the “cut,” share equally in the winnings of any side pots that are created. Generally, if a player declines to cut, they forfeit their rights to any side pots that are formed and must drop out of the original pot.