Poker is a card game in which players compete to create the best hand using their cards. The standard game uses a deck of 52 cards, but some variants add one or more joker cards. The cards are ranked from Ace high to Ace low. In a poker hand, you must match five cards to form a winning hand. The best hand wins the pot. Some games feature Wild Cards, which may be of any suit. Others specify a specific type of Wild Card.

There are several variations of poker, but the basic rules remain the same. In most games, players make an ante, or a small bet, before being dealt their cards. Players then bet into the center pot, and the player with the highest hand wins the pot. Players bet in clockwise succession, until all players have bet or folded.

Poker is one of the most popular card games. It has become a worldwide pastime, gaining popularity in casinos across the globe. Its origins are obscure, but it is thought that the game originated in Persia. The earliest known European version was probably a 17th-century French game called poque, from which the English word poker derives. In the 17th century, the game became popular in Germany, and later reached America by way of French settlers.

While Poker is a game of chance, it also includes a lot of psychology. In the last few years, the International Mind Sports Association has recognized poker as a sport. The sport has been featured on ESPN and has some official recognition, but it has not yet been included in the Olympic Games. In 2003, Chris Moneymaker became the World Series of Poker champion. As of 2011, the World Series of Poker is the sixth highest-paying sporting event in the world.