Poker is a card game in which players wager chips against each other. It can be played socially for pennies or matchsticks, or professionally for thousands of dollars. While there is some element of luck, poker also requires a great deal of skill.

In most Poker games, each player contributes an initial amount of money, called the ante, to the pot in the center of the table before being dealt cards. The player then has the option to call, raise, or fold their hand during betting intervals. The highest hand wins the pot.

While there are many different forms of poker, most use a standard pack of 52 cards with four suits: spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. Some games also include one or two jokers as wild cards. In ties, the rank of the card usually determines which hand is higher (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2), though some games have specific rules for breaking ties.

Tournaments are currently the most popular way for people to experience poker. They differ from cash games in that the players pay an entrance fee and compete for a portion of a prize pool, which increases at regular intervals during the event.

One person at the table is designated as the banker, who keeps track of the number of chips each player has and when they are refilled. The banker is also responsible for ensuring that no private transactions or exchanges occur between players, and that any player who needs more chips must obtain them from the banker only.