Poker is a card game in which players place bets with their hands. The goal is to win the pot, which is the sum total of all bets made during a hand. The player with the highest-ranking poker hand takes the pot. In the event that two players have equal-ranking hands, the pot is split between them.

Poker involves a lot of luck, but the best players can maximize their edge over time by finding optimal frequencies and hand ranges for different situations. The best players also understand how to read other players’ “tells,” which include body language like a trembling hand, staring down the flop and glancing intensely at their opponents’ chips, or incoherent or high-pitched speech.

If you hold a good hand, bet it to put weaker hands into the pot. This will increase your chances of winning. The situation is most important: your hands are usually good or bad only in relation to what the other players are holding. For example, a pair of kings might be good off the deal, but they’re losers 82% of the time when another player has A-A.

The game is played with a standard pack of 52 cards (plus jokers in some variants). There are four suits, each ranked from spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs in order of highest to lowest rank. The game is usually played by six or more players. The game is usually dealt clockwise around the table.