Poker is a card game that involves betting, raising, and revealing a hand. It is one of the few games in which skill can overcome luck, and it has become a popular pastime, both online and in live casinos. In its simplest form, each player puts in a set number of chips (representing money) into the pot when it is his turn to act; this is called calling a bet. Each player must match or raise the amount of the previous players’ bets or drop out of the competition. In most cases, the highest-ranked poker hand wins the pot.

To begin playing, each player “buys in” for a certain number of chips, usually using a standard denomination. A white chip is worth the minimum ante, a red chip is equal to a bet, and blue chips are equal to raises. Each player must also reveal a pair of cards to the table, which are known as community cards. The player with the best combination of five cards wins the pot.

A poker hand is ranked according to its odds of beating other hands, as determined by a combination of probability, psychology, and game theory. The highest possible hand is a royal flush, consisting of all five consecutive cards of the same suit. The second-highest hand is a straight, which consists of five cards in order of rank but from more than one suit; and the lowest hand is two pair.

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