Almost all poker games are played with chips. These are easier to handle than cash and make it easier to track the amount of money that is in the pot. Some games also have a special fund called the “kitty,” which is used to pay for new decks of cards.

The number of players in a game is typically between six and eight. The number of cards is usually between 52 and 52-and-a-half. Some versions of poker include jokers.

A typical pack of poker cards contains four cards from each suit. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot. If two or more people have a pair, a high card breaks the tie. If nobody has a pair, the second highest card wins.

When a player is dealt a card, he or she may choose to check, fold or raise. If a player chooses to raise, he or she can make a bet that he or she has the best hand. If a player chooses to check, he or she does not have to bet and is essentially voiding their right to compete for the pot.

During the first round of betting, one player is obligated to make the first bet. The player’s bet can be a fixed amount, a blind, or a forced bet. In some variations, the first bet is a minimum amount, while other hold’ees allow players to raise their bets.

The next round of betting begins with the player to the left of the big blind, who is then the first to act. The player to the left of the big blind, whose turn it is to act, is known as the “small blind.” The small blind is the player who must bet the minimum in the first betting interval.