Poker is a card game that involves betting between players and can be played by one or more people. Each player has five cards, and the highest hand wins. There are many variants of the game, but they all have the same basic structure. Each player acts in turn, and may call (match) a bet by placing chips into the pot, raise (put more than called) or drop out of the hand. Players may also bluff, by betting that they have the best hand when in fact they do not.

When deciding whether to call or raise a bet, it’s important to understand the strength of other hands at the table. Typically the strongest hand is the royal flush, which includes a 10, Jack, Queen and King of the same suit (clubs, hearts, diamonds or spades). A straight flush contains five consecutive cards of the same suit, such as four 8s and two 4s. Three of a kind is three cards of the same rank and two cards of another rank, such as three jacks and a six.

During the course of a poker game, players contribute chips to a common fund known as the kitty. This fund is used to pay for new decks of cards and other game expenses. When a player leaves the game before it ends, they are not entitled to take their share of the kitty. This rule is in effect to prevent players from exploiting the game’s rules and removing the element of chance from the game.