Poker is a card game played with chips that represent money. There are many different forms of the game, but all involve betting between players on the strength of their hands. Unlike other games, the skill of bluffing in poker can virtually eliminate the element of luck from a hand.

Depending on the rules of the variant being played, one or more players are required to place an initial amount of chips into the pot before cards are dealt. These are called forced bets and come in the form of an ante or blind bet. Players may also choose to raise their bets, meaning that they will bet more than the player before them.

Once all players have received their two hole cards, a round of betting begins. A third card is then dealt face up, which is known as the flop. Another round of betting occurs, and the player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot.

The highest-ranking poker hand is the royal flush, consisting of a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of one suit only. Other high-ranking hands include four of a kind (four cards of the same rank), straight (cards that are consecutive in rank but are from different suits) and three of a kind. There are also a number of lower-ranking poker hands, such as pair and unmatched cards. In each of these hands, the higher the rank, the more valuable the poker hand.