Poker is a card game that is played by a group of people around a circular table. Each player is dealt a set of cards, usually five. The player with the best hand wins the pot. There are many variations of the game, and all of them are dependent on the rules.

The game can be played with any number of players, but most games only allow up to eight or nine. Aside from the standard 52-card pack, some games include jokers.

The first player to be dealt is called the initial dealer. He is also the one who shuffles the deck. In most poker games, the first bettor has the right to make the first bet. This bet can be made by putting a certain amount into the pot.

After the initial dealer has shuffled the deck, the next player is dealt a card face down. He is then able to see all the other players’ cards and decide if he wants to make a bet. He may choose to call a raise, or fold. If he calls, he must match the amount of money that the previous player put in.

The next round begins with the antes and blinds. The ante is a forced bet. If the previous bettor does not owe anything to the pot, he is checked. The blinds are another forced bet. The blinds are placed by the player two positions to the left of the dealer.