Poker is a card game in which players place bets on the strength of their hand. The object of the game is to win the pot, or the sum of all bets made on one deal. A player can win the pot by having a high hand or bluffing. A player can also win the pot by making a bet that other players cannot call.

A standard 52-card pack is used in most forms of poker. Some games require that the deck be shuffled before each deal, and some players must place an initial amount of money into the pot before being dealt cards, called forced bets or antes. The shuffling and betting intervals are usually done by the dealer, but this can be a different person each time.

There are a number of ways to bet in poker, including checking, or passing on betting, raising, or calling (putting chips into the pot equal to the amount raised by the previous player). When a player has a good hand and feels they can compete for the pot, they often call.

A good poker player is also able to read other players, learning their tells and how they play. It is important to observe how other people react during a hand and think about what you would do in that situation. This will help you develop quick instincts and become a better poker player. It is also important to build your comfort level with risk-taking, by taking small risks in low-stakes situations first, before moving on to higher stakes.