Poker is a card game that can be played by two or more players. Each player places an ante or blind bet before the dealer shuffles, and then each player is dealt two cards face down. There is a series of betting intervals during which the players’ hands develop, and at the end of each round of betting the player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot.

A player can raise the amount of bets during a hand by saying “raise.” Other players may choose to call the new bet or fold, which means they drop out of this round & do not compete for the accumulated pot.

Players must also decide whether to bluff during the course of a hand. A good bluff can force weaker hands out of the game, or even win it all!

The rules of poker vary slightly depending on the variant being played. However, the basic rules are the same for all variants: Each player buys in with chips that represent money (often called a kitty). Then, one or more forced bets, called the small bet and large bet, are placed by the players to the left of the dealer before the cards are shuffled and cut. The dealer deals the cards to the players one at a time, beginning with the player on his or her left.

Each player is able to see the other players’ cards at all times. This allows players to compare their own cards with those of other players, and to make bets based on the perceived strength of each hand.