Poker is a card game in which players wager money on their chances of winning a hand. It is usually played with a minimum of four players, although there are games for more. The objective is to win the “pot,” which consists of all bets made during a single deal. This can be done by having the highest-ranking poker hand, or by making a bet that no one else calls.

During the deal phase, each player receives five cards. Players then reveal their hands and bet. The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. The remaining players may choose to call, raise or fold their cards.

A dealer is responsible for shuffling the cards and dealing them to each player. Typically, the dealer will pass a chip to indicate their role after each deal. This is to avoid a situation where a player deals themselves multiple times in a row.

The betting system is simple: Whenever it is your turn to bet, you may either call (match the previous player’s bet), raise it or fold your cards. You may also choose to check, meaning that you will not place a bet.

Risk-taking is a key part of poker, says Just. “You have to know when to take risks, and sometimes you’ll lose.” But she advises new players to build up their comfort level by taking smaller risks at lower stakes. “If you see that the odds of your poker hand are decreasing, it’s important to stop before you get too far into trouble,” she says.