Poker is a card game played between two or more players and involves betting. It is usually played for high stakes, with the object of winning a pot, which is the sum of all bets made by a player during a single deal. Poker has a long history and is currently enjoyed in most countries around the world, with some variants having been developed as early as the seventeenth century.

The game is typically played using chips that represent money, though in practice any number of tokens can be used. Each player buys in with a specified number of chips, called their buy-in amount. These chips are distributed to the players by the dealer, who also deals the cards and collects bets. Depending on the poker variant being played, there may be one or more betting intervals, each followed by a reveal of all players’ hands.

Good poker is a game of deception, so you should be constantly working on ways to keep your opponents guessing about what you have in your hand. For example, it’s important to mix up your style of play so that your opponent can’t tell whether you have a strong or weak holding. If your opponent always knows what you have, you won’t be able to get paid off on your big hands or get value from your bluffs.

The highest hand in poker is a straight flush, which contains 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. A full house consists of three matching cards of one rank, plus two matching cards of another rank, and a pair consists of 2 distinct pairs of cards. The highest card breaks ties.