Poker is a card game in which players try to make the best five-card hand. It is one of the most popular forms of gambling in the world, and its origins go back nearly 1,000 years.

A standard 52-card deck is used, with a few cards called jokers. The cards are ranked from high to low, with the highest hand winning.

The game can be played from a single pack of cards, or several packs are used in different variations. A variety of suits are used in the game, including spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs.

There are also games that use a wild card. The card can be of any suit, but no other card ranks higher than it.

Each player must make a forced bet, usually called the blind or ante. The action proceeds clockwise as players must either match or fold their bet. The final round of betting is called the showdown, where the hand is revealed to determine who wins the pot.

A player who has folded or checked a hand may ask to see it again, even if the cards are mucked. However, if the player has already mucked the hand and it is no longer visible to other players, the hand is considered dead.

All players must have their antes and blinds in place before the start of the game, no matter which version of poker rules are being used. These amounts are set prior to the game, and any changes made in the course of play will not change these limits.