Poker is a card game that is played between two or more players and requires skill to win. There are many different variations of the game, but all involve cards and chips. The aim of the game is to have a high-ranking poker hand at the end of the betting rounds. In order to be successful, it is important to minimize losses with bad hands and maximize winnings with good ones. In addition, good bluffing skills are essential to the game.

To play the game, you need a deck of poker cards and a table. The dealer is the person who shuffles and deals the cards to the players. You also need chips to represent money, which the dealer assigns values and exchanges for cash before the start of each round. There are a number of rules that are followed, such as the type of cards, the ranking of the hands and the way in which they are bet.

During each betting interval, one player, designated by the rules of the variant being played, has the opportunity to bet on his or her hand. He or she must place chips in the pot (representing money) equal to or higher than the bet made by the player to his or her right. In some cases, the rules of the game may require that a player put an initial contribution, called an ante, into the pot before the cards are dealt.