Poker is a card game that involves betting between a few players. The goal is to win a pot, which is the sum of all bets made during a hand. The amount of money placed in the pot varies according to the specific game rules. The game is typically played between two and 14 players, although there are many variants of the game with different numbers of players.

A player makes a bet by placing chips into the pot. The player to his left must call the bet or raise it. There are various strategies that can be used when playing poker, including bluffing and reading the game. A successful poker player must have a strong understanding of probability, psychology, and game theory.

After each player has received their two hole cards, the first round of betting begins. Depending on the game rules, one or more players must place forced bets into the pot before the cards are dealt. These are usually in the form of an ante or blind bet. The dealer then shuffles and deals each player a number of cards, starting with the player on the left.

After the flop, there is another round of betting. This is when the community cards are revealed. Each player must then decide whether to play their cards or fold. The player with the highest-ranking poker hand wins the pot. There are various types of poker hands, but the most common include a full house (three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank), a flush (five consecutive cards of the same suit), and a straight.