Poker is a card game in which players bet during each deal. The goal is to win the pot (money bet by all players) with a high-ranking poker hand. There are many poker variants, but the basic rules are similar across most of them. Players are dealt two cards and must compete with the five community cards on the table to make a poker hand. The game became popular in the early 21st century as online poker and broadcasts of major tournaments brought in large audiences.

Each player places chips representing money in the pot during each betting interval, which is called a “deal.” The first player to do so, as designated by the rules of the specific poker variant, has the privilege or obligation to make the first bet. The other players may call (match the bet and receive the same number of cards), fold (drop out of the hand without raising it) or raise the bet.

After the betting is done on the flop, another card is dealt face up on the table called the river. There is a final round of betting, which starts with the player to the left of the dealer.

Players compare their hands to see which one wins. The most common poker hands are three of a kind (3 matching cards of the same rank), straight (5 consecutive cards of the same suit) and a flush (4 of a kind and the fifth card matches the first two). A pair is compared by looking at the rank of each player’s low pairs, and the unmatched fourth card, called the kicker, is used to break ties.