Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It is a game of chance, but it has some elements of skill and psychology. Unlike other card games, Poker is usually not played in a single round but over several betting intervals. Each betting interval ends when the bets have been equalized — that is, each player has put into the pot at least as many chips as their predecessors. The best Poker hand wins the pot.

The dealer shuffles the cards and then deals each player one card at a time, starting with the person to their immediate left. The player then either folds, calls, or raises. If they raise, the others must call their bet or else drop.

Players can also “check” the pot, which means they do not want to put any more chips into it. This does not prevent other players from raising the bet, however. In fact, checking can actually allow them to steal the pot from other players who would not have called a raise.

Top players often fast-play their strong hands, which builds the pot and chases off those waiting for a draw that can beat them. New players tend to limp their weak hands, which can be costly if they’re not careful. Instead, they should be more aggressive and either raise or fold. This will ensure that the worse hands do not pay for the privilege of seeing the flop.