Poker is a card game in which players try to make the best five-card hand. The hands consist of three cards of the same rank (a full house, flush, and straight) and two unmatched cards (pair).

In most versions of poker, players must place an initial amount of money into the pot before the cards are dealt. Depending on the variant, this initial money is called an ante or blind.

A player is able to raise or call an ante when he has more chips than the amount called for in the ante. This allows him to increase his total contribution to the pot by the amount of money raised or called by other players.

Some variants of poker include a “kitty” for players to use when they raise more than once during a game. This kitty is used to pay for new decks of cards or for food and drinks at the poker table.

Players should adopt a “poker face” during a hand. They should relax their facial muscles so that they don’t smile or frown, but should be motionless until it is their turn to act. They should ignore any opponents who try to talk them out of this “pose”.