Poker is a card game where players compete to have the best hand. The objective of the game is to have the best hand by betting until all other players have dropped out. In the end, the player with the highest hand wins the pot, which is made up of all the money bet during the hand. If the game is a draw, the pot is divided equally among all players.

Each hand is dealt by a dealer, who is generally not a player. This person is designated by a buck (usually a white plastic disk) and handles the cards for each hand. The dealer’s role is usually to choose the order in which players should bet and decide who will bet first.

The game requires a round table and several chairs, but can include as many as nine players. It requires skill in reading opponents, predicting odds, and maintaining a cool demeanor when bluffing. As in most card games, the objective is to get as many chips from opponents as possible. Depending on the level of expertise, there are a variety of different poker variations.

The final phase of the game is the “showdown” phase, where the final winning hand is revealed clockwise around the table. In a typical game, the top hand is the highest hand, but in some variants, flushes or straights are not considered as high-ranking hands.