The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game in which players wager money, called chips, on the outcome of a hand. It is one of the most popular card games in the world, and its rules and jargon are widely known. Poker is played in casinos, private homes, and in card rooms. The game is also televised and played over the Internet.

Depending on the game rules, one or more players must put an initial amount of money into the pot before the cards are dealt. These forced bets are often referred to as antes or blind bets.

After the ante or blind bets are made, the dealer deals each player two cards. These cards are placed face down on the table and can be viewed by other players. A round of betting then begins, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. Each player may call (match) the bet, raise it, or fold.

If a player has a strong hand, they can bet at it and force weaker hands to fold. However, even a bad hand can win the pot if the player has good bluffing skills and some luck. If two players have the same high pair, then the rank of the next highest card determines which hand wins. Unlike many card games, suits have no relative value in Poker.