Poker is a card game where players try to make the best hand from a combination of cards. The rules vary by variant, but all forms share the same fundamentals.
The game begins with a dealer who deals the cards to all players, one at a time. The first player to act in the deal is the first bettor; all subsequent bets are placed in a single betting interval and are accumulated into a central pot, which is divided by the number of chips (representing money) used to make each bet.
After the initial deal there are usually several rounds of betting, each distributing one card faceup to each active player and followed by a showdown in which the hole cards are revealed and the highest-ranking hand takes the pot. Some forms of poker also include a draw, which allows each active player to discard one or more of his faceup cards and receive replacements from the undealt portion of the deck.
A common feature of many poker variants is that each bet in a round must be at least as large as the previous bet. This is called a “minimum bet,” and it serves as the minimum amount that all players must contribute to the pot, regardless of the size of their hands.
In recent years, poker has become a popular sport for a wide range of people. The game attracts amateurs as well as professionals, and is played in a variety of formats from glitzy casinos to seedy dives. But despite its popularity, poker is a complex and difficult game that requires a lot of skill to master. And, of course, luck plays a big part in the outcome as well.