Poker is a game of skill, risk, and strategy. A player’s success in the game depends on his ability to make informed decisions before all of the facts are known. Unlike chess, which is a game with no hidden information, poker mimics real life by forcing players to commit resources before all of the information is available.

At the start of each hand, players have 2 cards face up. This is called the flop. Then a round of betting begins, initiated by two mandatory bets (“blinds”) put into the pot by the players to the left of the dealer. If a player wishes to stay in the pot, he must increase his stake equal to the amount raised by the last active player (he may raise it even more if he wishes). Otherwise he must fold.

During the Poker boom of the late 1990s, everybody and their brother played Poker. This made the game extremely popular and led to a lot of bad players and crazy bets. It also led to a lot of money being lost by people who didn’t know the rules. So if you’re interested in writing about Poker, you’ll want to be sure that you understand the game’s basic rules. You’ll also want to be familiar with the different actions that can be taken during a poker hand. These include Calling, which is when you match the amount raised by the person before you. Checking means that you’re not raising and don’t want to bet anymore.