Poker is a card game in which players try to form the best hand possible. It is played in various forms around the world.

During play, each player acts in turn (clockwise rotation), and can make choices by either calling a bet, raising a bet, or folding. To call, a player must match the amount of a bet made by an opponent; to raise, a player must increase the previous high bet; to fold, a player must drop out of the hand.

Betting rounds commence with an initial forced bet called an ante. Depending on the rules of the game, this may be a single unit (the smallest amount in play), or a proportion such as a half or a quarter of a normal bet.

Once all active players have placed their bets, the betting round ends and the highest hand wins the pot. Often, a player can make change out of the pot before placing their bet, but this is not always allowed.

A hand with four cards of the same rank is called a “four of a kind.” Ties are broken by the highest card outside the four of a kind. Ties may also be broken by the highest card in a pair, a flush, a straight, or any combination of those hands.

The hand with the highest card of a suit is called a royal flush. A royal flush consists of a 10, Jack, Queen, King, or Ace of that suit.