Poker is a card game in which players make bets on their hand in order to win a pot. There are many variants of the game, but they all share some features. Players can choose to discard and draw cards to improve their hand, or they can hold onto what they have and wait for a showdown. The player who has the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. Players may also bluff by betting that they have the best hand when they don’t, forcing opponents to call their bets and concede defeat.

The game begins with each player receiving five cards. After the first round of betting, the cards are rearranged in a clockwise direction and each player may discard one or more cards. The dealer then deals out the remaining cards. If the player to the left wants to open the betting, they must first declare that they will do so by saying “I open.” The dealer will then deal 1 to 3 cards to each player who opened, depending on how many cards remain in the draw stack.

After the re-deal, the players compare their hands to determine who has the highest value. Three of a Kind beats Two Pair (two cards of the same rank plus two unrelated cards) and Straight (five consecutive cards in suit) beats Flush (all five cards of the same suit). The joker, called a bug, counts as an ace or to build certain poker hands but not for other reasons.