The game of poker is a card game with an element of chance and skill. Players place bets based on their perceived odds of winning the pot, or bluff other players for strategic reasons. While the outcome of any particular hand can involve a substantial amount of luck, the long-run expectation of each player is determined by actions chosen on the basis of probability, psychology, and game theory.

At the beginning of a hand, each player and the dealer put down an amount equal to their ante bet (and sometimes half that of the blind bet). Then each person is dealt two cards face-down. These are the hole cards. If you have a good hand off the deal, you should raise. If not, you can call or fold.

After the hole cards are dealt, three additional cards are placed face-up in the center of the table. These are community cards and can be used by all players to make their final five-card hands. The highest of these wins the pot. Ties are broken by the highest card in each hand.

If you are in a position to make a bet and want to do so, simply say “I open.” If no one opens, take turns raising in clockwise order until someone else opens or all players check. If a player decides to bet all in, the dealer must distribute the chips they bet into both the main pot and any side pots that may have been created.