Poker is a card game in which players compete to make the best hand using cards drawn from a common pool. The game involves betting between players and the winner is determined by a showdown at the end of each betting interval. The game may have one or more betting intervals depending on the variant of poker being played. The game is usually played with chips (representing money), and each player must have a sufficient number of these to cover the minimum ante or blind bet.

At the beginning of each hand the players must ante or blind bet (or both). The dealer then shuffles and cuts the pack, and deals the cards to the players one at a time starting with the player to his left. The cards may be dealt face up or face down.

When your turn comes, you must either “call” a previous bet by placing the same amount of money into the pot as the person to your right did, or raise your own bet (“raise”) by adding more money to the pool. You can also “fold” by discarding your hand and dropping out of the competition until the next deal.

Unlike some card games, there is no element of chance in Poker that can overcome the long-run expected value of a player’s decisions. Most of the game’s outcome depends on a combination of luck and skill, including reading other players and understanding how to bluff effectively.