Poker is a card game in which players compete for money or chips contributed by other players. Each player attempts to control the amount of money or chips in the pot, which is determined largely by chance, but also by the player’s prediction of other players’ hands and their betting patterns.

The most popular version of the game is Texas hold ’em, but it is also played in other forms with many different rules and strategies. In most games, the first round of betting begins with one or more players placing some form of forced bet (the blind, ante).

After that, the cards are dealt to all players in rotation. A single pack of 52 cards is used, although two packs are sometimes used in games played by clubs and among the best players.

Betting rounds are called “intervals” and each interval ends when a player either matches the last bet or folds, losing the entire bet so far and all further involvement in the hand. In a number of variants, there are also betting caps on the number of raises and calls.

The first round of betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer, who must either match the maximum previous bet or fold. Alternatively, they may raise the bet, putting more money into the pot. After a raise, every other player has to call the new raise or fold. Bluffing is a key element of Poker, as players may try to trick other players into thinking that they have the best hand when in fact they do not.