Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It has hundreds of variations, but most share a few key elements. It is a fast-paced game where players bet money and compare hands to see who has the best. Those with the best hand win the pot. Players can also bluff or fold, though they risk losing all of their bets.

The game can be played by any number of people, but it is most often played in a group of six or more. Each player has a stack of chips (representing money) and acts in turn, either calling or raising a bet. A raise is a bet that adds more money to the pot and requires all other players to call it. Players can also “check” if they don’t want to raise.

To be a good poker player, you need to be able to make decisions under uncertainty. In poker, this means knowing when to fold a weak hand and when to call a strong one. In life, it means being able to weigh your chances of success and make the most of what you have.

Some poker variants require players to place blind bets before they are dealt their cards. These bets can replace the ante or be in addition to it, but they are always made before each player is dealt their cards. This is done to prevent cheating by allowing opponents to exploit players who only play their best hands.