Poker is a card game in which players wager money, called the pot, against each other. Each player has five cards. The value of a hand is in inverse proportion to its mathematical frequency; the more rare a hand is, the higher it ranks. Players may place bets, known as raises, on the basis of their beliefs about the likelihood of a particular hand appearing. The game involves chance, but in the long run a winning hand is determined by decisions made on the basis of probability, psychology, and game theory.

The goal is to beat other players by making a better hand than they do. This can be done by bluffing, betting that you have a good hand when you do not, or by calling (matching) other players’ bets.

In Texas Hold’em, each player receives two cards, known as hole cards, and then five community cards are dealt in stages, beginning with a trio of cards called the flop, followed by another single card, referred to as the turn, and finally a final card, called the river. A player with a better five-card hand wins the pot.

The game has many variants, but in most forms the dealer deals one card to each player face up, starting with the person to his or her left. After the first deal, the player with the first jack becomes the dealer for the rest of the hand. Each player has the right to cut the deck before each new deal, but if they do not they must leave at least five cards.