Poker is a card game in which players wager money (called chips) on the outcome of a hand. There are many variants of the game, but all involve betting and a showdown. It is believed to have descended from the Renaissance games of primero and brelan.

Unlike some other card games, Poker has no single universal set of rules. Instead, the game is regulated by a governing body that sets the minimum standards for a given tournament or event. This regulating body also determines the number of cards that are dealt and whether the game is played with a full deck or a short one.

In a Poker game the cards are dealt to the players one at a time in a series of betting intervals, called deals, until each player has placed in the pot the required amount of chips equal to that of the player before him. The final bet is made after the last player has revealed his cards.

The best Poker hands are made up of three matching cards of one rank, two matching cards of another rank and one unmatched card (called the kicker). A straight contains five consecutive cards of the same suit. A flush contains five cards of different suits that skip around in rank, but not sequence. A pair is comprised of two cards of the same rank, plus two other unmatched cards. If a player has two pairs, the higher pair wins.