Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It involves betting, raising, and folding your cards depending on the situation. It also involves bluffing. A good bluff can win the pot, especially when other players call your bet when you have a bad hand.

The goal of the game is to win a pot by making the best five-card hand according to the rules of the poker variant being played. The game requires a minimum of one ante and is normally played with chips (representing money) that players place in the pot when it is their turn to act. The value of a hand in poker is proportional to its mathematical frequency: the more unusual the combination, the higher the rank. Players may place bets on the table, called “raising,” or bluff, in which case they must match or raise the previous player’s bet and hope that players holding superior hands do not call their bets.

In most games the first player to act places a forced bet, known as the “button,” and then players place bets in clockwise order. Some variations of poker require additional blind bets before the players are dealt their cards. These bets can replace the ante or can occur in addition to it. After the betting round is complete, a showdown occurs in which players reveal their hidden cards and evaluate their hands. The player with the best hand wins the pot.