Poker is a card game in which players place bets on their hand. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot, which is the sum of all bets made in a single deal. It is played in homes, clubs, and casinos, as well as over the Internet. There are many different types of poker, but they all share the same basic rules. Players can call a bet, raise it, or fold their cards.

To begin a game of poker, each player places an ante into the pot. Then the dealer deals each player five cards. Each player may then choose to discard one to three cards or “hold” them. If they hold a high card, they can raise the bet to compete with other players for a high-ranking hand.

After the betting interval, each remaining player shows their cards in a showdown and the best hand wins the pot. The order of play changes every hand. The first player to the left of the dealer has the button, and is responsible for opening the betting in each round. The player to their right may call, raise, or drop.

The most popular game of poker in North America, it has become the national card game and has spread throughout the world. It is a card game of great skill and strategy, and it is played by amateurs and professionals in home games, casino-based poker rooms, and at major tournaments. Its game and jargon have permeated American culture.