Poker is a card game that requires skill to win. The game has a wide variety of variants, but the majority are played with a single deck of cards and chips. Players place bets on their hands, and the player with the highest hand wins. A player can also bluff, betting that they have a high hand when in fact they do not. This is called a “pot sucker.” In the long run, it is generally advantageous to bluff with a large percentage of one’s best hands and call only a small proportion of one’s worst hands. This approach was developed by a mathematically precise study of the game by John von Neumann, who showed that players should bet large only when they believe their hand has positive expected value or when they are trying to bluff, and small only when they have a weak hand.
A poker dealer is responsible for shuffling the deck and dealing the cards to each player. This person is sometimes a non-player, but the position of dealer is usually assigned to a different player after every round. This player is often designated by a dealer chip, which passes clockwise around the table after each hand.
A poker hand consists of five cards. A high hand is made up of matching cards, or three of a kind. A flush is 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. A straight is 5 cards of consecutive rank, but in two or more suits. A pair is 2 unmatched cards of the same rank.