Poker is a card game involving betting between two or more players. The object of the game is to win a pot, which is the sum total of bets placed by all players in one deal. There are many variants of poker, but most share the same fundamental rules. Players may win the pot by having the highest ranking poker hand, or by making a bet that no other player calls.
During each betting interval, the first player to act may either call (match) the amount of money put in by the previous player or raise (increase the amount staked). A raised bet is often called a “raise.” The players then take turns placing chips into the pot. If a player decides to fold his hand, he must remove the chips from the pot and leave the table.
Another way to raise the value of a hand is by bluffing. A good bluff can often make up for a weak hand, and can be used to force stronger hands out of the game.
It is customary for a group of players to establish special rules, or “house rules,” that suit their own preferences and play style. These rules may vary from game to game, but should always be clear and understood by all players. Typically, a house rule is agreed upon by the players at a particular table before playing. The rule will typically include a method for cutting the cards, and whether the players are to use a single or double deck.