Poker is a card game in which players bet on the strength of their hand. There is a large amount of luck involved, but in the long run the best players will win. The game can be played with two to fourteen players, although the ideal number is six. The goal of the game is to collect the most chips, or a pot, in one betting round. There are many variations of poker, but most involve an ante and blind bets that players must place into a central pot before the cards are dealt.
The dealer shuffles the cards and then deals each player five cards, face down. Once the deal is complete, the first of a series of betting rounds begins. The players may call the bet by putting in the same amount as the player to their left; raise it by putting more than that into the pot; or drop (fold) by putting no chips into the pot and discarding their hand.
The betting continues through the flop, turn and river. At each street, the players reveal their cards and the player with the best poker hand wins the pot. In some games, there is also a side pot for the highest-ranking two-card hand. If more than one player remains in the pot after the final betting round, a showdown takes place where the players reveal their cards and the winner is announced. If a player drops out of the main pot, they forfeit their rights to any side pots.