Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games. There are many forms of the game, and it is played in every country that has cards and people who enjoy playing them. The object is to win a pot, or the aggregate of all bets made during any one deal. The player who has the highest-ranking poker hand at the end of a betting round wins the pot. Players may also choose to drop out of the pot by folding, discarding their cards and leaving the table.

Poker can be played with two to 14 players. Each player is dealt two cards face up. The player to the left of the dealer has the first opportunity to act on his hand. After that, players may fold if their hands do not play, or bet and raise in turn, starting with the player to his immediate left.

Each poker variant has its own rules and procedures, but there are some general principles that apply. A standard 52-card pack is used, including the joker, which counts only as a wild card to complete a straight or certain other special hands. A pair of jacks beats any other hand, and four deuces make for the highest poker hand.

A good way to learn poker is to start by reading books and playing for fun at a low stakes level. It is also important to learn tells, or unconscious body language that reveals information about the strength of a player’s hand.