Poker is a game of chance, but it is also a skill-based game. It requires a great deal of patience and a strong understanding of strategy.

The best players are often able to calculate odds and percentages quickly and quietly. They have the ability to read other players and adapt their strategies to fit a variety of situations.

They have the discipline to wait for optimal hands and proper positions, and they know when to quit a hand or a game.

A player must be in the best physical condition to play long sessions at a high pace. They should exercise regularly and get adequate rest to help improve their stamina.

Poker is played with a standard 52-card pack, containing two face cards (Jacks or Aces), one or more wild cards, and four suits. The suits are spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.

Each hand is made up of five cards, the highest being used to break ties and win the pot. The highest possible hand is a straight flush, consisting of five cards in the same suit.

Ties are broken by the highest card of each hand, unless both hands contain the same high cards. For example, if there are two hands that both have a pair of kings and both have a queen, then the queen wins.

Each hand is dealt in turn, in clockwise rotation. Acting out of turn can negatively affect other players, so it is important to follow rules.