Poker is a card game that involves betting chips and can be played with one or many players. There are dozens of different variations on the game, from Hold’Em to Stud to Draw, and each has its own rules. While the game has an element of chance and risk, it requires considerable skill to play well. One of the most important skills is reading your opponent’s tells, which are nonverbal cues that reveal their intentions and can help you decide whether to call, raise, or fold.

The origin of poker is unclear, but it probably evolved from the 17th-century French game poque (a variation on the German pochen) and possibly the Renaissance games primero and brelan. It became global in the 19th century, largely thanks to French settlers who brought it to North America. The game has incorporated elements from many other card games, including bluffing.

Each round of betting begins with players putting an amount of money into the pot, called a blind bet or an ante. After this, players are dealt cards that they keep hidden from their opponents. During each round of betting, the players may choose to check (pass on placing any more chips), call a bet by matching it, or raise by adding more than the previous player’s bet.

The highest hand is a full house, which consists of three cards of the same rank and two matching cards of another rank. The second highest hand is a straight, which is five cards in consecutive rank, but not necessarily of the same suit.