Poker is a card game that involves betting chips and can be played by anywhere from two to 14 players. It is a game of chance and risk, and every casino or card room has its own rules. However, the basic mechanics of poker are mostly the same across all games. Players put in blind or ante bets before they are dealt cards, which they keep hidden from their opponents. They can then choose to raise their bet or fold their hand. The player with the highest-ranking poker hand wins the pot. There may also be side pots that are awarded to different players based on their bet size.

Poker players usually use poker chips to indicate their bet amounts, but they can also be made from any other type of currency. These chips are usually colored red, white, black or blue and come in various denominations. The dealer assigns value to the chips prior to the start of play and exchanges cash from the players for them.

During a betting round, players have the option to check, which means they pass on raising their bets. If they choose to raise, they must match the amount raised by their opponent, or they forfeit their hand. They can also raise their bet amount further, which forces other players to call or fold their hands. The winner of the showdown gains a pot equal to the total amount staked so far by all players except the last raiser.