Poker is a card game in which players bet with chips (representing money) that they hold or control. The objective is to win the pot – all bets placed during a single hand. The player who has the highest ranked hand of cards when the hands are shown wins the pot. During each betting interval of the game, one player – designated by the rules of the specific poker variant being played – has the option to make the first bet or, alternatively, may choose to pass and not act in that round.

The game is typically played between 6 and 14 players, although it can be played with fewer. The game is often fast-paced and players bet continuously until a player has all the chips or everyone else folds. Players may also choose to not call a bet by choosing to “check.”

When players have a strong poker hand, they reveal it and place the rest of their chips into the pot. This ends the current betting interval and the next round begins with new antes and blinds.

A big part of the game involves reading your opponents and figuring out how strong their hands are. This is often referred to as having tells and it requires the use of body language, facial expressions and even breathing. If you can figure out what your opponent’s tells are, you can gain an edge over them and improve your own poker play.