Poker is a card game played by two or more players. Each player has a stack of chips which represents money and the object is to win the pot, which is the sum of all bets made during a hand. The best way to do this is to make a strong hand, or to bluff.

To start a hand, each player must ante some amount of money (the exact amount varies by game). Then they are dealt cards and the betting begins. Players may call bets, raise them or fold. If they have a good hand, they can continue to bet and hope that other players will call their bets. They can also bluff and try to force other players into folding their hands by making bets that they do not have a good chance of winning.

In most forms of poker, the highest hand wins the pot. A poker hand consists of five cards and the value of each card is in inverse proportion to its mathematical frequency, so the more unusual the combination of the cards the higher the hand rank. Some games use wild cards or jokers to add additional combinations of cards.

One of the most fundamental aspects of a winning poker strategy is playing in position, which means acting last and seeing your opponents’ actions before you have to act. This allows you to make better decisions and control the size of the pot.