Poker is a card game in which players wager chips (representing money) against one another. The object of the game is to win a round by having the highest-ranked hand. Players may also win by calling or raising bets, and they can bluff, or try to make other players believe that their hands are superior.

The game of poker originated in America, and it has since spread throughout the world. It is played in private homes, at cards clubs, and in casinos. It has been called the national card game of the United States, and its play and jargon permeate American culture.

When a player is dealt two cards, he must decide whether to call a bet or fold his hand. If he calls, he must place an amount of chips in the pot equal to or greater than the bet made by the player before him. If he raises, he must continue to add chips to the pot in order to maintain his advantage over the other players.

A winning poker hand consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit. The most prestigious hand is the royal flush, which consists of a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit. Other highly ranked poker hands include straights, four of a kind, and pairs. Players may also use wild cards, which can be used to create more complex poker hands. Depending on the rules of the game, players may establish a fund for purchasing new decks of cards or food and drinks by unanimous agreement, known as a kitty.