Poker is a card game played by two or more people. The highest value card in a hand wins the game, and the lowest value card loses. The lowest possible hand is a seven-five-four-three-two, although in some games the ace is treated as the lowest card. In other variations, the lowest hand is a pair of aces.

To win a hand, players have to beat the odds of the other players. The goal of the game is to maximize your winnings and minimize your losses. Poker has betting intervals during each hand, and you must make sure that you are making your decisions wisely. For example, you must decide whether to make an ante before a hand is dealt.

Poker is played with 52-card packs. The dealer deals one card face-up to each player in turn. If you want the game to be played quickly, you may choose to use two packs of contrasting colors. The dealer will deal one pack and shuffle the other. In the first betting interval, the player with the best poker combination must bet a minimum amount. However, later in the betting interval, a player may choose to check.

Poker has many different versions and is played in nearly every country on the planet. The game originated in Germany in the 16th century. Later it spread to France where it was called Poque. It was later brought to New Orleans and played on riverboats.