Poker is a card game that can be played socially for pennies, or professionally for thousands of dollars. It has a great deal of luck involved, but it also requires a lot of skill and psychology.

Poker can be played with a standard 52-card pack, with one or two jokers added. The cards are ranked from high to low (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4). The highest hand wins. Some games add wild cards, which can take on any suit and rank they choose, while others define a specific set of them (dueces, one-eyed jacks, etc).

The game is usually dealt clockwise from a fixed position. The player to the left of the dealer acts as the small blind, while the player to the right of the dealer acts as the big blind. These players must place a forced bet of the same amount before being dealt cards. The dealer then deals each player two cards face down.

By consensus or agreement, the players in a game may establish a special fund called a kitty that can be used to pay for new decks of cards and food/drinks. Any chips left in the kitty when the game ends are divided equally among the players still playing. This is in contrast to some other games, where players who leave the game early are not entitled to take their share of the kitty.