Poker is a card game played between two or more players and won by the player with the highest-ranking hand at the end of a betting round. The cards are dealt either face down or face up, depending on the variant of poker being played. Each player must make a forced bet, usually an ante or a blind bet, before being dealt cards. Players can also choose to not place a bet and simply pass.

When a bet is placed, the player has the option of calling (making the minimum bet), raising it or folding. Once a player has called, they can no longer raise their bets, but they may still call if someone else raises.

The game’s objective is to win the pot, which is all of the bets made by the players at any time during a deal. The winner is determined by the players who have a high-ranking hand at the end of the betting round, or the player who makes a bet that no one calls (this is sometimes called “bluffing”).

It’s important to develop fast instincts, rather than trying to memorize and apply tricky systems. A good way to do this is to watch experienced players and imagine how you would react in their position – then practice. The more you play and watch, the better you’ll get. Eventually, you’ll be able to read other players and know how they are likely to respond to certain situations.