Poker is a card game that can be played for money, but is also a game of skill and strategy. It is one of the most popular casino games and can be played in many different variations, including Texas Hold’em, which has become a very popular variation of poker among players.

In poker, players compete to make the best hand. The highest-ranked hand wins the pot; other hands can break ties and divide the pot equally.

The game begins with a dealer, who shuffles a deck of cards and deals them to each player. There are several betting rounds between the initial deal and the final round of betting, when each player turns their hand face up.

Each player “buys in” to the game by contributing a certain amount of chips. These are usually white or light-colored chips, but a red or dark-colored chip may be used in place of the white ones.

Once the initial ante has been contributed by each player, each player receives five cards. The first card is dealt to the player in the leftmost position, with the next cards being dealt to the player to their right.

There are thirteen different cards in each suit. Whenever two of these cards match, the hand is called a pair.

If no combination can be made, the highest single card is valued as the hand’s high card. If two players have the same high card, the second highest card breaks the tie.