Poker is a game of chance played with cards and chips. It requires skill to play, and is a popular form of gambling in casinos and tournaments.

Poker rules vary, but the basic strategy is to bet large both with your best hands and as bluffs with some definable percentage of your worst hand (usually less than one-third). By betting big with your best hand and small with your bluffs, you maximize your chances of winning.

The game begins with the dealer dealing a hand to each player face down, putting an ante in the pot. After the first round of dealing, players can discard cards and take new ones from the top of the deck. Then there are a series of betting intervals, with a showdown after each.

A poker hand comprises five cards. The highest hand wins the pot. Standard poker hands are: Full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, and two pair.

Ties between identical hands are broken by the highest unmatched card or secondary pairs (in a full house [5 cards of the same suit]). If there are wild cards in the game, these can be used to break ties if they are in the same rank or sequence as the other cards in the hand.

Players may also check, a move that is legal in most games. A check means that a player is not making a bet but is not allowed to raise a bet made by another player in the same betting interval.