Poker is a card game in which players try to get the best hand out of a series of cards. The game is played in many variants and has become popular worldwide.

There are several ways to win in poker, and each variation has its own rules. In the most basic form, each player is dealt five cards face-down and the first betting round begins. The player with the lowest hand starts first, then play proceeds clockwise around the table until everyone has had a chance to bet or fold.

The highest possible hand is a straight, which is five cards in sequential order, like two, three, four, and five of the same suit. There are also other hands that are considered to be high, such as a flush or a straight flush.

Depending on the rules of the particular variation, the game may be played with any number of players from 2 to 14 (in some forms, a minimum of six is required). The highest winning hand is called the “poker hand” or “poker flush.”

Tournaments are the most popular form of poker. In these, the top prize is usually a large sum of money, and the game involves several rounds of play until one team wins.

Professionals who play in tournaments often use a combination of skill and chance to gain an edge over their opponents. Whether you’re playing online or in a live game, it’s important to understand the rules of the game and how to approach the tables. There are a few key strategies that will help you maximize your advantage in any situation.