Poker is a card game in which players wager chips (representing money) on the outcome of a hand. It is a skill-based game, but its rules and culture are heavily influenced by chance. Although luck plays a significant role in the short run, professional players make their betting decisions based on expected value and other strategic considerations.

Before each round, players place an amount of money into the pot, called an ante. This happens before the players see their cards and is a way to encourage the players to be active in each round. In some games, blind bets are placed in addition to the antes. In casinos, a token called a dealer button rotates around the table to indicate whose turn it is to deal the cards for each round.

During each betting interval, a player must either call the previous bet, raise it, or fold. A raised bet is made by adding more money to the pot than the last player. This is done to convince other players that you have a strong hand and are trying to bluff them into calling your bet.

Once the betting has finished, the players show their hands and the player with the best hand wins the entire pot for that round. The winning hand may consist of one high card, two pairs, or three of a kind. The highest hand is the royal flush, which consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of the same suit.