Poker is a card game in which players place bets based on the value of their hand. Unlike most other games of chance, poker requires both luck and skill. A good poker player can win by bluffing when other players hold superior hands and can make large bets to induce calls. A strong poker hand contains five cards of consecutive rank, with at least one ace and two unmatched cards. The higher the rank, the more valuable the hand.

To begin the game, each player takes a pack of cards and deals them to his or her left, one at a time, until a jack appears. The player receiving that card becomes the first dealer. Whenever a new deal is needed the pack is reshuffled and offered to the player on the right for a cut. A player may also shuffle their own pack before dealing.

During each betting interval (a round) a player may say “call” or “I call” to match the number of chips put into the pot by the player to his or her left. They may also raise, meaning they will increase the number of chips they are willing to put into the pot. A player may also fold, indicating that they do not wish to play the hand.

The game is often fast paced, and players bet in quick succession. While the game can be played for money, most people use chips that are similar to cash in order to simplify the exchange of funds and to help keep track of bets.