The game of poker is a card game in which players try to form pairs of cards. The higher pair wins. If there are no pairs, the second pair wins. Tie-breakers are high cards. A high card breaks a tie if no one has a pair of cards, or if two people tie on the highest card.

The best poker strategy is to play tight but aggressively. This disguises the strength of the actual hand, and makes you difficult to beat. If you are a short stack, you should play less speculative hands and prioritize strong cards. But there are other factors that can also influence your poker strategy. One way to play well is to raise when you think you are beaten.

In most forms of poker, each player is dealt two cards. After this, the betting begins. Each player makes an ante, which varies according to the game, and then bets into a central pot. The person with the best hand wins the pot. The betting rounds move clockwise around the table, and each player has an opportunity to bet, raise, check, or fold.

In addition to betting, poker players have the option to set up a special fund called the kitty. This fund is built up by cutting a low-denomination chip from each pot with more than one raise. This fund is used to buy new decks of cards or buy food for the table. When a kitty is filled, the chips are distributed among the players who are still in the game, while players who leave the table before the game is over are not entitled to any of these funds.