Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It involves betting money or chips (representing money) and requires skill, luck, and understanding of how other players think. It has been called the national card game of the United States and its play and jargon permeate American culture. It is played at home, in poker clubs, and in casinos.

The game is governed by specific rules, which vary according to the variant of poker being played. Generally, each player puts down a sum of money before playing, called buy-ins. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot, or all the bets placed in a deal. If there is a tie among the players with the best five-card hands, the pot is split equally.

Once all the players have 2 hole cards, a round of betting is initiated by the player to the left of the dealer. Then the flop is dealt, which includes 5 community cards. Players may then bet more money or fold their cards. Depending on the situation, the players may also be able to draw replacement cards for their existing ones.

The highest hand is a royal flush, which consists of 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. A straight is a hand consisting of 5 cards in sequence but of different suits, while 3 of a kind is a hand with three matching cards. Two pair is a hand with two cards of the same rank and one unmatched card, while high card means that you only have one unmatched card.

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