Poker is a card game in which players wager chips (representing money) against each other and the dealer. A player wins by having a better hand than his opponents or bluffing in an attempt to scare them into folding their cards.

The dealer begins the game by dealing two cards to each player. This may be done in one deal or in sets, depending on the game variant being played. After the initial deal, a round of betting takes place in which players can Fold, Call, or Raise. If a player chooses to Fold, they surrender their hand and lose their rights to the accumulated pot.

To call, a player places a bet equal to the amount raised by the player before him. To raise, a player must have the right to do so based on the rules of the game.

When a player raises, the players to his left must either call or fold. A player can also raise if they have an excellent hand and wish to entice other players to call in order to increase the size of their winnings.

A strong poker hand requires a mix of luck and skill. Expert players are able to control their emotions and have a cool head when playing the game, enabling them to make sound decisions. In fact, some studies have shown that poker players who use mental training techniques similar to those used by athletes are able to win more frequently.