Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It is a game of chance but skill is also required to win, as it requires the ability to read opponents and predict odds. It also involves bluffing and psychological manipulation. The game is very popular and has become a major part of the gambling industry.

The object of the game is to win a pot, which is the total of all the bets made in one deal. A player may win the pot by having a high-ranking hand or by making a bet that no other players call. There are many different forms of poker and each has its own rules, but most involve a blind bet of some kind, usually a small amount, before the players are dealt cards. The players then place their bets, usually in chips, into the pot. In some games, a player may be able to remove a low-denomination chip from each pot he calls, and these chips are placed into a special fund called the kitty. This money is used to pay for things like new decks of cards and food.

When it is a player’s turn to act, he can choose to match the last bet by saying “call,” or raise it by saying “raise.” He can also say “check” to remain in the hand and not make a bet. This is often done when he has a good hand and doesn’t want to risk losing it by betting.