Poker is a family of card games played in various forms around the world. It is most popular in North America, where it originated.

The goal of each poker game is to be the player who has the best hand. Players compete with each other in a series of betting rounds until a showdown takes place and the cards are revealed.

A standard hand consists of five cards, with the highest card winning. A straight is a running sequence of five cards, regardless of suit, while a flush is a hand that contains seven or more cards in a row.

One of the most important skills to master in poker is bluffing. A player can bluff by making an unfavorable hand seem like an advantage to another player.

Another common strategy is called sandbagging, whereby a player bets a hand without showing the cards. This is done to increase the pot size, and can be used to win a large amount of money.

In poker, betting rounds typically last for several minutes. During each interval, players can bet, call or raise their bets. If all players check, the betting interval ends and the current bet is collected into the main pot.