Poker is a card game in which players compete for money. Each player places a forced bet in the pot, known as an ante, before being dealt a hand. The dealer then shuffles and cuts the cards before dealing them to the players one by one. The cards may be dealt face up or face down, depending on the poker variant. Players are required to place chips into the pot between each round, and each player has to place the same amount of chips into the pot as the player before him.
There are usually six to eight players in a game of poker. The goal of the game is to get the highest possible hand. A hand can consist of any combination of four cards. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. If the two players are tied, they split the pot. In five-card poker, however, both players must have at least one identical pair.
In casual games, the dealer rotates between players. One player is designated as the nominal dealer, and the other player plays the role of the house dealer. The dealer button is a white plastic disk that indicates the nominal dealer. Cards are dealt clockwise around the poker table.