Poker is a card game played by two or more players and involves betting. In the modern game of poker, cards are dealt face down and the player who has the best five-card hand takes the pot. Players may also bet that they have a better hand, or bluff, hoping to win by misleading other players into thinking they have a good hand.

Depending on the rules of the particular game being played, one or more players must place an initial amount of money into the pot before the cards are dealt. These are called forced bets and come in the form of antes, blinds, or bring-ins.

After the forced bets have been placed, the dealer deals each player a number of cards. There are then a series of betting intervals in which each player, in turn beginning with the first player to his left, has the option to call (match) or raise the bet made by the player before him. When a player calls, he must place into the pot at least as many chips as the previous player did.

A player may also check, which means that he wishes to remain in the hand without placing any chips into the pot. However, this action can only take place if no player before him has raised their bet. Talking while not in the hand is considered poor etiquette and distracts other players from making decisions. Attempting to see the hole cards of other players is another bad habit that should be avoided.