Poker is a card game in which players place bets against each other. The game involves chance, but skill and psychology also play a role. The aim of the game is to win the pot (the total of all bets placed during a deal) by having the highest-ranking poker hand. The game can be played with 2 or more players, but ideally there are 6-8 players at a table.
Players make forced bets, called an ante or blind bets, before the dealer shuffles and deals cards to each player one at a time. The players then evaluate their hands, with the best hand winning the pot. The cards are usually dealt face up, though some games may use a different arrangement. After the first round of betting is complete, the dealer places three additional community cards on the table, which all players can use. This is known as the flop. The third round of betting begins and then the fourth stage, called the river, is revealed.
When it’s your turn to act, you can raise the amount of money in the pot by saying “call” or “raise.” The other players then decide if they want to call or raise your bet. It’s important to understand how position affects your decision-making in poker. Read our guide on How to Play in Position.