Poker is a card game in which players bet on the outcome of a hand. It is played with a standard pack of 52 cards (some games add jokers or other wild cards) and has a ranking system based on probability. Unlike other card games, in which the suits have relative value, poker hands are ranked solely on their probability of occurring.
There are many variants of poker, but they all share certain core elements: a betting round before the deal, a minimum bet (called an ante) to start the betting, and the ability for players to fold or raise. Some variants also have blind bets that replace or supplement the ante.
The basic game consists of five cards per player, and the highest hand wins. Depending on the game, there may be one or more wild cards that can take on any suit and rank. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched cards or secondary pairs (in a full house, for example).
A key skill in poker is being able to read your opponents. This is done by watching how they play and reading their body language. The more you practice and watch others play, the better your instincts will become.
The betting in poker is done with chips, usually colored white or red, which have different values. Typically, the smallest chip is worth one white or red chip; each player starts with a fixed amount of chips, called their “buy-in”. These are called chips because they are bought in by each player before the game begins.