Poker is a betting card game that involves a variety of skills and strategies. It is a popular recreational activity, and it also offers opportunities for professional success.

A complete hand is dealt to each player, face-down. Then each player places an ante to the pot.

After betting, each player can discard up to three cards and take new ones from the top of the deck.

Each round of play is supervised by a dealer. A dealer is sometimes a non-player, but typically a player takes on the role for each hand.

The dealer is responsible for shuffling the deck and dealing the cards to each player. A dealer chip is used to designate who is the dealer for each round of play.

Players act in turn, clockwise rotation (acting out of turn can negatively affect other players).

Once a betting round is over, the hands are revealed and the winner takes the pot. The winning hand may be the best of any combination of the cards, or it may be a straight, flush, or full house.

A standard poker hand consists of five cards, each of which has a relative rank in relation to its odds (probability). The highest possible hand is a royal flush, followed by a straight flush, four of a kind, a full house, a flush, a three of a kind, two pair, and a high card.

The rules of each poker game vary, but all include the following common elements.