Poker is a card game with a variety of betting rules and strategies. It is a game of chance, but players choose their actions based on expected value and other considerations such as psychology and game theory. The objective is to win the pot, which is the sum of all bets made during a deal. A player can win the pot by having the best poker hand or by bluffing and causing other players to fold their hands.

In most forms of poker, the deck is shuffled and cut before each deal. A dealer is then assigned (by a dealer chip or similar method) to each round, and is responsible for shuffling and dealing the cards to each player in turn. The dealer will also collect and return bets between rounds, or “rounds,” of the game.

Each player is dealt 2 cards, face down (hidden from other players), at the beginning of a betting round. These cards are called that player’s hole or pocket cards. The player to the left of the dealer button then places a forced bet, known as an ante.

Each player can then decide to call, raise, or fold. If a player calls, they must bet a amount equal to or higher than the previous player’s bet. Then, other players can call or raise their own bets in turn. If a player folds, they forfeit any money they have bet that round. This is an important decision to make, especially when your hands are not good.