Poker is a card game of chance, but it also involves significant skill and psychology. Players must decide whether to raise or call bets when they have a strong hand, and how much to risk on bluffing. The game is played using chips that have values assigned to them by the dealer before the start of the hand. Players place their bets into a central pot during betting rounds.

The game is usually played from a standard deck of 52 cards, although some games add jokers or use multiple packs. The cards are ranked in order of their value from high to low: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2. Each player’s hand must consist of five cards. The highest-ranking hand wins.

During a round of betting, a player may “check” the pot by putting their chips into the pot without raising it. This allows them to continue to hold their hand until the next betting round, when they can bet again.

The most common poker hands are pair, three of a kind, straight and flush. Other common hands include three of a kind and two pairs. In general, the higher the rank of a hand, the more valuable it is. When a hand ties in rank, the cards outside the hand break the tie according to the rules of High Card.