The game of poker is a card game where players make wagers on the likelihood that their cards will form a winning hand. The rules of the game are determined by a combination of chance, psychology, and game theory. The game of poker has a long history and a wide variety of variants. Some of the most popular include seven-card stud, draw, and high-low split.

The game begins with one or more forced bets, which are known as an ante and blind bets. The dealer then shuffles the cards and deals each player a hand, which may be face up or down depending on the variation of poker being played. The first player to act has the option of making a bet or checking. If a player checks, then he forfeits his right to participate in the betting and drops out of the round.

After the players have placed their bets, they reveal their hands and the player with the best hand wins the pot. It is possible for a player to have more than one best hand, but he cannot win multiple pots.

During the betting phase of a poker round, the players take turns clockwise around the table revealing their cards. Each player is expected to place in the pot at least as many chips as the previous player, and can also choose to pass if he does not want to raise his bet. When a player passes, he is said to fold and can no longer compete for the pot.