Poker is a card game of skill that involves betting. The outcome of any particular hand largely depends on chance. However, over the long run, players who choose to play against other players with a higher skill edge will win more than they lose. It is important to keep records and pay taxes on gambling winnings, especially if it is done professionally.

Each player must buy in for a certain amount of chips (representing money) to participate in the game. Each chip has a different value, with white chips representing the lowest value and red chips the highest. Depending on the poker variant being played, one player has the privilege or obligation of making the first bet in each betting interval.

The dealer shuffles the cards and deals them to the players in turn. This player is known as the button. Once all the players have their cards, the action proceeds clockwise. Each player has the option to check, raise, call, or fold. If the players all check, the hand ends in a tie.

A poker game can involve as few as two people or as many as ten. In the case of a larger number of players, the game may be divided into two tables and each table will deal its own hands. Usually, the game is accompanied by an audio system to facilitate discussion and betting. Some games even have a host who introduces the players and announces betting limits.