Poker is a game where players use their cards to create the best possible hand. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot. There are many different variants of the game, and it is played with cards or chips rather than cash.

Typically, each player makes a bet at the start of the game (usually called an “ante” or “blind”) and may call or raise another player’s bet in each betting interval. If no players call a bet, or if the betting amount is met by all players, then it is said to have ended and the player who made the last bet is awarded the pot without having to reveal his hand.

A poker hand comprises five cards, and it is the higher-ranking hand that wins the pot. Some games, such as badugi, award the pot to the lowest-ranked hand; some other games, such as high low split, divide the pot between the highest and lowest hands.

The most important feature of poker is that it is a game of skill. Some players bluff by trying to get other players to think they have a better hand than they do, and they win by doing so. In addition, the odds of winning are very small in most situations. Moreover, the game is a relatively long one, which means that a large number of hands must be played before a player’s skill starts to predominate over chance.