Poker is a card game that requires skill and strategy to win. There are many different variations of the game, but most involve betting between two players or more. Players place bets by placing chips into a “pot,” or pool of money that everyone is betting on. The highest hand wins the pot. A poker hand consists of five cards. The higher the hand, the more valuable it is. A straight flush consists of consecutive cards of the same suit (aces, hearts, diamonds, or spades). A full house consists of three cards of the same rank and two matching cards of another rank. A single-suited ace is the lowest hand, while an aces and eights pair is the highest.
When a player makes a bet, players to his left may either call that amount of chips into the pot or raise it. If a player raises, he must match the amount of any previous raise or drop out of the game.
In the early 20th century, MIT mathematician John von Neumann used poker as the basis for his theory of optimal strategy. He analyzed a simplified version of the game in which the cards were dealt randomly, and he found that players should bet large both with their best hands and as bluffs with some definable percentage of their worst ones.
Self-made billionaire Jenny Just says that playing poker helped her develop strategic thinking and a comfort with risk. She advises young women pursuing careers in business to learn to play poker, saying that the game provides an opportunity for small risks and lessons about managing risk.