Poker is a card game of incomplete information in which players have chips to place bets on the outcome of a hand. A player competes with other players for a prize (the pot) by calling or raising during betting phases. Each player places an initial forced bet into the pot before cards are dealt. This is called the ante. There are also mandatory bets during the course of a round, known as blinds, put into the pot by the 2 players to the left of the dealer.

After each player has received their 2 hole cards, a third card is dealt face up (the “flop”). A round of betting ensues with players having the choice to keep their hands or discard them. The best hand wins the pot.

The highest-ranking hand is a royal flush, consisting of a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace all of the same suit. A straight flush is 5 consecutive cards of the same suit (such as 4 aces). A full house consists of 3 matching cards of one rank, and two unmatched cards of another rank. A pair is two cards of the same rank, and a third card of any rank.

Poker is closely related to the Renaissance games of primero and brelan, and may have descended from a number of earlier vying games such as poque. Moreover, it shares many features with the French game of pique.