Poker is a card game in which players try to create the best possible hand using any combination of their own cards and the community cards. The aim is to win money by forming the highest hand possible without making any mistakes in the process.

Several variants of poker are available, each with its own rules and strategies for play. The most popular is Texas Hold ‘Em, a fast-paced game in which each player has a stack of chips and tries to be the first to reach a certain number of chips, called the pot.

The game begins with a deal in which each player receives one card facedown–his hole card–and one card faceup. After the initial deal, there are a series of betting intervals between rounds in which additional cards may be dealt or replaced.

At the end of each betting interval, all bets are gathered into the central pot. During a showdown, each player’s hole cards are shown to all players, and the hand with the highest-ranking poker combination wins the pot.

Poker is played from a standard pack of 52 cards (some games use multiple packs, or even add jokers), ranked in order from Ace to King. The game can also be played with a single deck, or with two packs of contrasting colors.

Some players fold after the first betting interval, while others call or raise their bets. When calling, a player must match the current opening bet.