Poker is a card game for two or more players and involves betting. It is a game of skill and chance, with players using strategy based on probability and psychology to try and win. There are many different forms of poker, but all involve a central pot (the sum of all bets) and individual hands of five cards. Some poker variants also include one or more jokers as wild cards.

Before a hand of poker begins, players must place forced bets into the pot, called an ante or blind bet. The dealer then shuffles the cards, and each player cuts once. The dealer then deals each player a number of cards, beginning with the player to his or her left. Cards may be dealt either face up or face down, depending on the particular variant of poker being played.

After the initial deal, the first of several betting rounds begins. Players reveal their hands after each round, and the player with the highest hand wins the pot. During the betting phase of a hand, players can choose to fold, call, or raise.

If a player chooses to call a bet, he or she must match the amount of the previous player’s raise and remain in the game. Then, if another player raises again, the player must decide whether to call, raise again, or fold. This process continues until all players have revealed their hands. If no player has a high enough hand to win the pot, the players share the money in the pot evenly.