Poker is a card game played between a number of players and involves betting. The game is usually played with a standard 52-card pack, including the joker (although some games use multiple packs or add wild cards). The cards rank from high to low: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. There are four suits: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. The highest poker hand wins the pot.
Each player makes forced bets, called the ante and blind bets, before being dealt cards. The dealer shuffles the deck, the player on his chair to his right cuts and the dealer deals the cards to each player one at a time, beginning with the player to his immediate left. Each player may then choose to check (assigning his cards to the pot), call or raise – placing additional money into the bet pool.
Once all the players have made their bets, the fourth and final community cards are revealed in a betting round known as the turn. Then comes the river, and finally, the showdown.
A winning poker hand consists of five cards and must meet the requirements of the specific poker variant being played. All hands have a ranking from high to low, with any hand in the highest category beating all hands in lower categories. Generally, higher hands beat lower ones but ties are broken by comparing the high cards in each hand (so two pairs with one high card beats three pairs of low cards). A pair is two distinct cards of the same rank; if the ranks are equal, compare the odd cards to break the tie (for example J-J-2-2-4 beats J-J-9-3). In some cases, specific cards can be used as wild cards.