Poker is a family of card games in which players compete against each other by determining which hands have the highest value. The earliest form of poker was played with a deck of twenty cards, though the game is generally played with 52 cards. The ace is a high-ranking card in poker and is used low in poker straights. The playing cards are called poker chips and range from inexpensive plastic or paper chips to high-quality wooden ones. All poker games involve at least one betting round.

During betting rounds, all but one player is allowed to fold. The remaining player collects the pot without revealing their hand. If more than one player is left in a hand, the final round of betting is called the showdown. The winner is the player with the highest-ranked hand, which wins the pot. However, this is not always the case. Depending on the rules of the game, a person may only bet up to a certain amount in a given betting round.

The initial dealer must be selected from the shuffled deck. Typically, the highest card from the deck is the initial dealer. The dealer shuffles and cuts the cards after every hand to prevent ties. If no one holds the highest value, a repeat deal breaks the tie. Once the game begins, the initial dealer must decide which hand is higher. Typically, the lowest hand is the pair of aces. A game of poker is played around an oval table.