The Basics of Poker
Poker is a card game in which players compete for money. The aim is to get the best hand possible, and players can win by betting on their own hands or by bluffing other players.
There are many different variations of the game. It is played in private homes, in casinos, and on the Internet.
The rules of most games differ, but the basic idea is that each player places a sum of money in the pot before cards are dealt. This amount is called an ante or blind bet.
After the ante and blind bets are made, the dealer deals a set number of cards to each player. The cards are dealt face up or face down, depending on the variant of the game being played.
Betting rounds occur, and players may bet, call, raise, or fold. To call a bet, the player must make a bet equal to the previous bet; to raise a bet, the player must increase the previous bet by an amount sufficient to cover the new bet.
To fold, a player must surrender his or her hand and stop betting. A player who folds loses whatever chips he or she has in the pot.
Some players, particularly those with weak hands, prefer to wait for other players to call or raise before they bet. This strategy is known as “sandbagging.” It can be effective if other players are prone to bluffing, but it is not allowed in all forms of poker.