Poker is a card game played by groups of people around a circular table. The objective of the game is to make the best hand possible out of the five cards that are dealt. Players can win by bluffing or by betting their hand.

To begin a poker game, the initial dealer shuffles the deck of cards and deals them to each player in turn. Cards may be face up or face down.

After each round of dealing, a betting interval is held. In pot-limit games, the maximum bet is usually placed on a raise. This allows players to increase their wager or bet more if they are able to beat the others.

During a betting interval, the first bettor has an obligation to bet at least the minimum amount of money. He must also put the minimum amount of chips required to call the previous bet into the pot. If he fails to do so, he must fold.

The next bettor has an obligation to check. He must put the minimum number of chips into the pot, and then must raise by the same amount. It is not necessary to call, however, if the other players do not call his bet.

Unlike the earlier rounds of betting, a second round of betting occurs after discarding the cards. This is known as the showdown. When this occurs, the highest hand is awarded the pot. However, the hand is not revealed until there are callers in the final round of betting.