Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It is a fast-paced game with the object of winning the pot, or the sum of all bets placed during a deal. The game has a long history and many different variations.

There are forms of poker suitable for any number of players, from 2 to 14, but most games involve six to eight players. The game can be played in a variety of ways, but most games are won by the player with the highest hand.

One of the keys to success in poker is knowing your opponents and reading their tells. A tell is a subconscious behavior that gives away information about the player’s hand. These tells can be as subtle as a change in posture or as obvious as a gesture.

Another key skill is calculating odds. A good poker player will be able to determine the probability of getting a particular hand based on their opponent’s betting habits and the cards that have already been revealed. A player should also be able to recognize when their odds are decreasing and should consider folding.

When a player has a strong hand, they will want to raise their bets. To raise a bet, the player must say “call” or “I call.” If a player does not wish to raise their bet, they can say “check” and then wait until it is their turn again. This way, the players do not have to make the same bet each time.