Poker is a card game in which players wager money on their hands. It is a game of chance, but also requires skill and strategy. It is played in casinos, private homes, and in clubs. It has become the national card game of the United States and is a popular pastime at social gatherings. It is also played on television and over the Internet.

The rules of poker are not uniform across the world, but there are some basic similarities. Each player buys in for a set amount of chips, usually white or light-colored, that represent money. One chip may represent one unit of the ante or bet, while another may represent 10 units, 20 whites, two, four, or five reds. A higher-valued chip typically indicates a greater amount of money being staked.

Each player takes turns betting. A player must call the bet, raise it, or fold his or her hand. Players can also use bluffing techniques to win a hand.

When the cards are dealt, a round of betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer. After the first round of betting, the flop is dealt. Another round of betting then occurs.

A winning hand includes a pair or better. A full house consists of three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank, while a straight contains five consecutive ranks in a suit. The highest value hand wins the pot. If no player has a high enough hand, the pot is split among the remaining players.