Poker is a card game in which players make bets on the strength of their hand. The game can be played by two or more people and has many variants. In most of them, the object is to have the highest-ranking poker hand at the end of a betting round. The person with the best hand wins the pot, which is all of the money that has been bet on a particular deal.

In poker, the rules are established by a combination of probability, psychology, and game theory. While the result of any particular hand depends on a large degree on chance, in the long run, winning poker is primarily a matter of skill.

Each player places a amount of money into the pot (called the ante) before being dealt cards. Then, each player can decide whether or not to place additional money into the pot (called calling). If a player wants to call, they must match or raise the last bet made by the person to their right.

There is a negative connotation to the sport of poker due to the fact that it involves gambling. Despite this, poker is a fun and entertaining game that requires both mental and physical ability in order to succeed. It is also a great way to socialize with friends and family. In addition, it can be used as a form of entertainment by proxy, which is vicarious enjoyment achieved through watching another person play the game.