A card game with a variety of variants, poker involves betting between players who have cards in their hands and on the table. The object is to win the pot, the sum of all the bets made. Players may also bluff, trying to make other players call their bets even though they do not have the best hand.

Most poker games are played with chips, which represent dollar amounts instead of actual cash. This simplifies the process of determining how much to bet by allowing players to exchange chips easily without having to count them or keep track of them. This also encourages competition and makes the game more exciting for both casual and serious players alike.

To begin playing poker you need a few things: a poker table (or two) some chips, and a deck of 52 cards. Most poker games are played with eight or nine players to a table. You want to use chips as they are easier to stack, count, keep track of and make change with than cash. They are also more psychologically appealing to players as each color of chip represents a different dollar amount.

The first thing you need to know about poker is what the different types of hands are and their rankings. The higher the hand, the better. A flush contains five consecutive cards of the same suit. A straight contains five cards of equal rank but from different suits. A three of a kind is three cards of the same rank, and a pair is two distinct cards of the same rank. The highest card breaks ties.