Poker is a card game where players place bets on the outcome of a hand. Depending on the type of poker, one or more rounds of betting take place before a showdown takes place, during which the cards are revealed and the player with the best 5 card hand wins the pot.

The game is usually played between 6 to 14 people, with the ideal number being 6. A pack of cards is shuffled and dealt in rotation from player to player starting with the person to the left of the dealer. If a player doesn’t wish to deal, they can pass the deck to another player for a “cut” to have first rights on the dealing and betting.

In the early stages of the game, players are feeling each other out and there may be a few bluffs made. As the game progresses, the action tends to rise and more aggressive plays are made. In the later stages of a game, a player with a strong hand will often raise on every street to build their stack.

To place a bet, you say “raise” and then add the amount of money you want to bet above the previous player’s call. You can also simply call if you want to continue the current round of betting. If you raise, the other players must either “call” your new bet or fold. Saying “fold” means that you are giving up on the current hand and will not be raising any further.