Poker is a card game that requires players to make wagers on their hands. Typically, the winning hand is the one with the best combination of cards. The pot is the sum of all the bets that the players make in a single deal.

There are several variants of poker, the most common being Texas Hold’Em. The game is played with two decks of cards. Players can use jokers and wild cards.

The first player to act is the player to the left of the big blind. This is the player who is legally required to make the first bet.

In addition to placing a small bet on the ante, each player also places a larger bet called the big blind. The big blind is $2 and the small blind is $1. Normally, the smaller bet is placed by the player with the lowest card.

Cards are then shuffled. A rapping table signals that a player has been dealt a hand. Another round of betting is triggered after this.

After all the cards are shuffled, a showdown occurs. Cards are then revealed to each player. If no player has any more to offer, a winner is declared.

Some variations of the game do not include straights, flushes, and other more complex poker hands. Instead, a winning hand is the best five-card poker hand.

A winning hand may be awarded to a player with the highest ranking hand, a low hand, or even to different players. For example, in the high-low game, a pair of aces wins over a pair of deuces.