Poker is a card game in which players place wagers (representing money) into a pot before each deal. The object of the game is to win the pot, a sum greater than any individual player’s stakes. The stakes are called antes, blinds or bring-ins. A player may also place additional chips into the pot after each betting interval, a practice called raising. A raise must be at least equal to the amount staked by the player before him. A player may not raise further than he has already raised, or he must fold.

A poker hand consists of five cards. The value of a poker hand is in inverse proportion to its mathematical frequency, with rarer combinations yielding higher-ranked hands. Players may also bluff, betting that they have a superior hand while the other players call (match) their bets or concede.

A game of poker can be played by any number of players, although it is most commonly played between two and 14 people. Some forms of poker require one or more players to place an initial amount of money into the pot before the cards are dealt, and these are known as forced bets. The remaining players then bet in turn, with each player having the option to raise or fold his cards. The last active player with the highest hand wins the pot. There are several ways to win the pot, including having the best poker hand, a straight, or a flush.