Poker is a card game in which players wager chips (representing money) into a pot according to the rules of the specific variant being played. Betting takes place in one or more rounds, after which the players reveal their cards and evaluate their hands. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. Players may also bluff, in which case they try to convince other players that they have a strong hand when they do not.
While some elements of poker involve chance, the vast majority of decisions at the table are made by a player based on their evaluation of expected value and the psychology of other players, combined with their knowledge of probability and game theory. This makes poker a game of skill, and it is this that allows players to earn long-run profits from the game.
Before the poker hand begins, one player is designated as the dealer. This player shuffles the cards, and then the player on the chair to their right cuts. The dealer then deals each player a number of cards, which is determined by the variant being played. The dealer deals cards face-down or face-up, depending on the variant.
Once the initial betting round is over, the dealer puts three more cards on the board that anyone can use. This is known as the flop. After another round of betting the dealer puts a fifth card on the board that everyone can use, known as the river. At this point, any player still in the hand can choose to call, raise or fold.