Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It is usually played in rounds, with each player betting in turn. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. The game can also involve side pots and can include wild cards (jokers).
Each player has two personal cards in his hand and five community cards on the table. The cards are dealt clockwise from the dealer. When there are more than ten players, the games are often organized into two tables.
During each betting interval, one player designated by the rules of the specific variant being played has the privilege or obligation to make the first bet. Each player in turn must either call that bet by putting into the pot a number of chips equal to or greater than the total contribution made by the players to his left; raise that bet, meaning he puts in more chips than any other player; or drop (fold), discarding his hand, leaving him no longer eligible to compete for the pot.
Depending on the rules of the particular game, the players may establish a special fund, called the kitty, to pay for new decks of cards or other expenses. Any money left in the kitty when the game ends is usually divided equally among players who are still in the game. Many people play poker for money, and it is possible to win large amounts by bluffing and exploiting the weaknesses of other players. However, a strong knowledge of basic strategy is essential to success. Practice and watch experienced players to develop quick instincts.