Poker is a card game in which players make bets with chips (representing money) that are gathered into a central pot. Each player is dealt two cards. Players aim to make a high-ranking poker hand using these two cards and five community cards. The highest-ranked hand wins the pot. Players may fold, call or raise. In addition, some games include jokers (known as wild cards) that take on the suit and rank of their possessor or specific designations such as deuces or one-eyed jacks.

At the beginning of each betting round, one player (as designated by the rules of the variant being played) makes a forced bet called an ante or blind bet. Each player then has the option of raising this bet by an amount not less than the total stake made by the players before him. If he does not raise, he must call and then contribute to the pot a sum at least equal to the previous active player’s contribution or, if unwilling, must drop out of the game.

There may be several betting rounds before all cards are revealed in a showdown – the river – and the winner is the player with the best 5 card poker hand. A player can also win the pot before this point if all other players drop out by bluffing. The skill element of the game is increased by the fact that other players’ cards are not revealed. The bluffing skills of individual players can be assessed by their physical tells, which often involve eye contact, facial expressions and body language.