Poker is a card game in which players wager money on the outcome of a hand. The game can be played with two or more people and there are many different variants of the game. In all of these games, the goal is to have the highest ranked hand at the end of the betting period. The player who has this hand wins the pot, which is all of the money that has been bet during that round.
The game begins with each player placing an ante wager. This amount is based on the stakes of the game and is typically the minimum amount to play in any given round. Players can also choose to “all-in” which means that they are pushing all of their chips (or cash) into the pot.
Once the antes are placed, cards are dealt face down to each player. Each player then reveals their hand and places a bet on whether they think their hand is better than the dealer’s. A player can either check that they have a good enough hand to call the bets or raise them in order to increase the stakes of the round.
A player’s skill in poker can be improved by learning to read other players. This includes their tells, such as eye movements, idiosyncratic body language and betting behavior. For example, a player who frequently calls but then suddenly makes a huge raise may be holding an amazing hand.