Poker is a card game played by a group of players around a table. The goal is to win the pot (all bets made in a single hand), by having a high-ranking poker hand. Unlike other casino games, poker is largely a game of chance. But it also involves skills such as bluffing, reading other players’ body language, and making decisions under uncertainty.

Each player is dealt five cards face-down. They then place an ante into the pot. After betting, each player may choose to call, check, or raise. A player who raises a bet must match the amount that the person before them raised or else fold their hand and forfeit any money they had previously placed into the pot.

A poker game can be played with up to 14 players. Before the deal begins, the chosen dealer will shuffle and cut the deck. The player who receives the highest card becomes the first dealer. If there is a tie between the dealers, it is broken by repeated deals.

The game uses a standard 53-card pack plus the joker, which counts as a wild card. The joker can be used to form a straight, flush, or certain special hands. It cannot be used to make a four of a kind, though. Depending on the variant, the rules may include blind bets, which are placed before each hand and can replace or be in addition to the ante. Players can also choose to make an all-in bet, which means placing their entire stack of chips into the pot.

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