Despite the many variations of poker, the basic rules are relatively unchanged. The game is played by a group of players sitting around an oval table. The object of the game is to win the most money for your hand.

The game is played using a 52 card deck. The player with the highest card is the dealer. The deck is shuffled by the dealer and then passed around the table. Each player is dealt two cards. One card is face down and one card is face up.

Each player has the option of checking, raising, or folding. The player who folds is said to have dropped. The player who raises is said to have won the hand.

In some variants, the first dealer may be the player with the best hand. There may also be a side pot, in which different players may win.

The ante, or buy in bet, is the minimum amount of money that a player can put into the pot. This is typically $1 or $5.

In some variants, the ante is a mandatory minimum amount of money. In other games, players are free to choose how much to put into the pot.

The best possible hand is the one that contains five cards of the same suit in sequential order. Some games have a “best hand” ranking that is different from the “best hand” ranking of the deck. In some games, the ace is treated as the lowest card.