Poker is a card game of skill and chance in which players place bets based on the value of their hand. The object is to win the pot, which is the sum total of all bets placed during one deal. Players may make forced bets (known as a blind or an ante) and bluff at times. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot.

In most forms of the game, a maximum of seven players can play. Each player has a supply of chips, each representing a different value. Usually, a white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; red chips are worth five whites; and blue chips are worth 10 or 20 whites. Some games use fewer than seven players.

Before dealing cards, each player must place an ante or a blind bet. The dealer then shuffles and deals each player two cards, which are kept hidden from other players and known as the hole cards. Once the pre-flop betting phase has ended, three additional cards are dealt face up in the center of the table, which are called the flop. These cards are community cards and can be used by all players to form their hands.

When it is your turn to act, you may say “call” or “raise” to add money to the betting pool. A call means that you will match the previous player’s bet, and a raise means that you will add more money to it. Players can also choose to fold if they do not have a high-ranking hand or simply do not want to compete for the pot.