Poker is a card game that can be played by two or more players and involves betting between hands. There are many variations of the game, but in most of them a player wins the pot (the sum of all bets placed during one round) by having the highest-ranking hand. The game has elements of chance and skill, and a significant part of the strategy is bluffing.

The game is usually played with chips that represent money, either in cash or in value assigned by the dealer for each deal. A token called the button (or buck) rotates among the players to indicate who will be the dealer for each deal.

Before each deal, the player to the button’s left places an amount of chips into the pot. This is known as the ante or blind bet. Then the dealer shuffles the cards, and begins dealing them to the players one at a time, clockwise around the table. Cards may be dealt face-up or face-down depending on the variant of the game.

Each player’s goal is to win the pot by having the best 5-card hand at the end of the betting phase. Occasionally, there will be ties among the players with the best hands and the pot is split.

During a betting round, a player can choose to check (pass on their turn to act) or raise a bet. If the player raises, other players must call the new bet or fold.