Poker is a card game in which players try to make the best hand from a combination of their own cards and those of the other players. The player who holds the best hand wins the pot, which is the total of all bets placed during a betting interval.

The game is played with a deck of 52 cards. At the start of the game, each player is dealt two face down cards and must keep them secret from other players.

When the flop and turn cards are dealt, each player must decide whether to call or raise. They can also fold, which means that they will not play that round of the game or will lose any chips they have put into the pot.

In a game of Texas hold ’em, each player makes a small bet (called the “ante”) to join the pot. Immediately after the ante is paid, each player’s two cards are dealt.

A player can raise the ante or call it, depending on how much they want to risk and how strong their hand is. If they do not raise, the ante remains in the pot and is then available to other players.

If they raise, they increase their bet by the amount of the ante plus an additional amount. The ante is typically a fixed amount, such as $1 or $5.

Often, players who have a relatively low stack (short stack) will “shove all in,” or bet all of their money, when they have a large enough advantage over their opponent to make it profitable. This is especially true in games such as stud poker, where a small number of hands can result in big winners for a player.