Poker is a card game that involves betting between two or more players. Players place money into a pot before dealing cards, and may raise or call in their turn. The player with the best hand according to the rules of the variant being played wins the pot. Some variants involve only high or low hands, while others have multiple categories of hand rankings. While the outcome of a particular hand largely depends on chance, poker strategy is based on probability theory and game theory.

In most games, players begin by putting some amount of money into the pot (the amount varies between games). This is called making an “ante.” A player who puts in a bet that exactly matches or exceeds the bet made by the player before him is said to be calling. In some variants of poker, players may also check, meaning that they will stay in the hand without placing a bet.

Generally, each player is dealt five cards. The highest poker hand wins the pot. Some games have jokers, which act as wild cards and can take on any suit or rank. In other games, certain cards are designated as wild (dueces and one-eye jacks) or have special powers.

Typically, the higher a poker hand’s rank, the more it is worth. A pair of aces is very high, whereas four of a kind is much lower. When ties occur in the rank of a hand, they are broken following standard High Card rules.