Poker is a game played by a group of players around a table. The goal of the game is to create the best hand possible. All players are dealt cards one at a time.

The player with the best hand takes the pot. If there are two players tied for the lead, the hand is over. This is called a showdown.

The dealer is the initial player at the table. He or she shuffles the deck, cuts it, and deals the cards to each player in turn.

The player with the best five-card hand wins. A hand consisting of five cards of the same suit is called a flush.

A hand with five cards in sequential order is called a straight. Some games are played using a special deck called a short pack. These cards are often used in U.K. and other countries.

A card with the highest rank in the deck is called the kicker. It is the highest-ranking card in the deck in a hand of a single high-card.

When a player raises or calls, another round of betting occurs. Typically, players call to match the bet. But they can also raise, fold, or check to avoid having to call.

One of the earliest forms of poker was played with 20 cards. Modern forms are usually played with a standard deck.

There are other forms of poker, too, such as Hold’em, Stud Poker, and Omaha. Each version has its own rules and variations.