Poker is a card game in which players bet in rounds. Each player makes an ante (the required bet, depending on the type of game) and bets into a central pot. The player with the best hand wins the pot. The betting is done clockwise. A player can raise his or her initial bet, fold, or match the bet of another player.

The game began in the United Kingdom in 1829, and some sources believe that poker originated in Persia. However, the first game of poker in Europe was likely the 17th century French game poque, from which the English word poker was derived. The game evolved alongside other games such as the German pochen and the Spanish primero, and eventually made its way to the New World.

The rules of poker differ slightly from variation to variation. In general, poker involves five players and a standard deck of 52 cards. Some variants add jokers or use more than one deck. Players bet on the strength of their hands, calling if they have the highest hand or folding if they are beaten. The best hand wins the game if all players call.

In many variations of poker, the first betor is designated. After he or she has made his or her bet, the player who has a higher ranking hand wins the pot. In general, however, players are not allowed to check their bets. The hands in Poker are ranked according to their probability of winning the pot. For example, a pair of kings is more likely to win than a pair of fours.