Several people are involved in the game. The main goal is to build the best hand possible. Players may bluff their way to victory or bet on the cards they may receive. The pot is won by the best hand.
Several variants of the game have different rules. In the simplest of them all, players are dealt seven cards. A card is face down.
A player to the left of the dealer, who is usually the first bettor, is required to put down a small amount of money. A larger amount is usually required in later betting rounds.
Another player to the left of the dealer, who normally holds the big blind, is required to put down a second amount of money. Depending on the rules, the small blind may be worth as much as the big blind.
The dealer also has the last say in shuffles. He may pass out all cards at once or in sets. In some games, the ace is considered the lowest card in the deck.
The best hand is usually a five of a kind. In some games, the best hand is a full house. The lowest pair is a pair of aces. In a game where there are several identical poker hands, the ties are broken by secondary pairs.
A player may check or raise his bet. Normally, a player who raises his bet is deemed to have won the pot. A player who checks is considered to have lost the pot.