Poker is a card game played worldwide in which players wager on which hand is best. It has many variants, but most include one or more rounds of betting.

The basic rules of poker are simple and straightforward: each player receives three cards in a standard deck, and must use those cards to make the best five-card hand. The best hand wins.

Traditionally, poker was played with a standard 52-card deck, but modern games may be played using short decks and a wider variety of suits. In North America, the game has gained widespread popularity and is played in private homes, in poker clubs, at casinos, and over the Internet.

A player can bet or fold at any time during a round, and the betting interval ends once all players have had an opportunity to bet or fold. To call, a player must put the same number of chips into the pot as any previous player; to raise, they must put in more than enough chips to call; and to drop (fold), they must put no chips into the pot and discard their hand.

The first step in playing poker is to shuffle the deck and cut the top card. The dealer then deals the cards to the players, one at a time.

The next step is to place an ante in the pot, which is a fixed amount of money. The player to the left of the ante then places an equal amount of chips into the pot and begins the betting. The betting round continues clockwise around the table until all players have had an opportunity to bet. Finally, a showdown takes place where all of the hands are revealed.