Poker is a card game in which players wager chips (representing money) on the hope of getting a good hand. Players can call or raise the bets made by those before them, and they may also bluff. If they are successful, they can win the pot by announcing a high hand. Regardless of the variant being played, poker is fast-paced and the bets are often large.

A poker hand is a combination of five cards, and the higher the ranking of the hand, the more valuable it is. The suits are spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds; no suit ranks higher than another. Jokers may be included in some games to add extra value to a hand.

If a player has no good hand, they can either check, or fold. If they check, they pass on their turn to place bets and are out of the game. However, if they have a strong hand, it is often advantageous to bet, as this forces weaker hands out of the game and increases the value of the pot.

Some players establish a special fund, called a kitty, that is used to pay for new decks of cards or food and drinks. Any chips remaining in the kitty at the end of a game are divided evenly among the players who were still in the game. Those players then use those chips to bet on their next hand. This process is known as cutting the deck.