Poker is a card game that involves betting between players. It is a fast-paced game with many betting rounds. There are many variations of the game, but all have the same general rules. There are also different strategies that can be used to improve a player’s chances of winning. The game is typically played with chips, which are small discs that represent a set amount of cash. These are usually red, white, black, or blue, but can come in a variety of colors. The dealer assigns values to the chips prior to the start of the game and exchanges cash from the players for the appropriate values.

Once all the players have their cards, a round of betting begins. The player to the left of the dealer has a forced bet called a “blind” that must be placed into the pot before any cards are dealt. The dealer then shuffles and deals the cards to the players. Depending on the variant of poker being played, the cards may be dealt face up or face down.

After the betting has taken place, a player can choose to stay in their hand or raise. When raising, you must say “raise” or “call.” The players then show their hands and the highest winning hand wins the pot. If two hands are identical, the higher ranking of the next card determines which hand wins. If there is a tie, the pot is split.