Poker is a card game that requires an ability to read opponents and make calculated bluffs. It is played in glitzy casinos and seedy dives, as well as at home with friends. The game has become more organized in recent years, with a centralized World Series declaring champions and a proliferation of online sites for players.
Poker requires a standard 52-card deck with four suits, and is played in rounds. The object of the game is to win chips from other players by displaying your best hand at the end of a betting round. You can also win by making a bet large enough to scare weaker players into folding their hands.
The first step is to ante up, which is a small bet that all players contribute before a hand begins. Then, each player draws a number of cards that are added to the draw stack. Antes add value to the pot by forcing players to bet, and they help ensure that only the strongest hands win the hand.
Once the players reveal their hands at the end of the betting phase, they must decide how to proceed. The best hand wins the pot, which is split into side pots if any players have gone all-in during the final betting round. A high card is used to break ties in the case of two distinct pairs. In addition, a straight and flush can also tie for the highest hand.