Poker is a game of chance, in which the players use cards to form hands. The aim is to make the highest possible hand, and to win money for it. It is played in private homes, in poker clubs, and in casinos worldwide.

The first step in playing poker is to place a bet (usually a small amount) into the pot. Then, other players must either call (match the bet), raise, or fold. If all players fold, the hand ends immediately.

Bluffing is a major aspect of the game. It is a strategy to make others think you have a superior hand by betting a low amount when you have a better one, or by calling a high bet when you have an inferior one.

During the game, each player is dealt a hand of five cards. They must use at least two of these cards to create the best hand. The hand is ranked according to the mathematical frequency of its combination.

In the United States, where the game originated, it is commonly called “poker.” The term can also refer to the jargon associated with the game.

A basic hand in 5-card poker is a straight, which consists of five consecutive cards. A flush is when all five cards are the same suit, and a full house is when a player has three of a kind and a pair of cards.

Some variants of poker have fixed limits on the number of raises that may be made in any round. These limits may vary from game to game, and may be lower or higher than the minimum bet in a particular round.