Poker is a family of card games where players try to create the best possible hand from a combination of cards. The game has a history that is not completely understood, but it is believed to have roots in the French game poque and the Italian primero.
Before the deal, each player is required to make a contribution to the pot, called an ante. This is usually a small amount, like $1 or $5.
The deal begins with a player who takes a pack of cards and deals them face up, one card at a time, until a jack appears. The first dealer is the player to the left of the button, which indicates the dealer.
A betting interval follows each round of dealing, with a showdown at the end of the fourth and final betting interval. In each betting interval, the first bettor is the player who has the highest-ranking poker combination in his faceup cards.
A primary feature of poker is bluffing, which is the act of a player trying to deceive other players into thinking that his hand is superior to theirs. This involves making a bet when you do not have an excellent hand, and raising when you have an excellent hand.
The highest-ranking hand in a standard poker game is five of a kind, beating any two or more identical hands (such as fours of a kind and threes of a kind). Straight flushes are also considered the highest hands; they beat any two unmatched straights.