Poker is a card game in which individuals compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by players themselves (called the pot). Although variations of poker exist, most involve one or more rounds of betting and a showdown that determines the winner. Players use a combination of their own cards and the community cards to make a five-card hand, with the objective of winning the pot by making the best possible hand according to the rules of that specific game.
The cards are shuffled and cut by the dealer, who then deals each player a number of cards face up or down, depending on the variant being played. Once each player has their initial cards, a series of betting rounds begins, with the exception of heads-up hold’em where the final round is a showdown. During each betting round, players have the option to check, call, raise, or fold, as they compete for the pot.
During the showdown, players expose their hole cards to determine a winning hand. This is done by the dealer and follows a sequence based on the official poker hand rankings. For example, if a player with an inferior hand makes a bet, they must raise the bet by at least the minimum amount to avoid being re-raised by the opponent. In a bluff situation, this rule discourages players with weak hands from calling the bet, even though their hand may improve dramatically in later rounds.