Poker is a card game that includes a significant amount of skill. While the outcome of any particular hand has some element of chance, the higher skilled players tend to win more in the long run. This is due to the fact that they use principles of probability and game theory to make decisions, whereas lower skilled players do not.

Poker has a number of variants, but they all share a few key features. First, the game has a pot, which is a total of all the money that players place into the game in a given round. This pot is shared among the players who have a winning hand. This feature is important to help prevent ties and ensure that a winner emerges each time.

Additionally, most of the poker variants require that players place an initial amount of money into the pot before they are dealt cards. This is called the ante. The ante happens before the players see their cards and can be raised or re-raised.

Once the antes have been placed, each player is dealt two cards and then five community cards are dealt (called the river). The aim of the game is to make a poker hand consisting of your own 2 cards and the 5 community cards. The highest poker hand is a Royal flush, consisting of four matching cards of the same rank and five consecutive cards of the same suit.

Finally, a good poker book will focus on the people involved in the game and their reactions to the cards that are played. It will also describe how players interact with one another during a game. This will help create tension and make the book more interesting to read.