Poker is a card game played by two or more players. The game has several betting phases, and the player with the best 5-card hand wins. There are many different rules for betting, but the basic principle is that a player must place chips in the pot (representing money) before he can bet again.

During the first betting phase, each player is dealt 2 cards face-down, which are hidden from other players. These are called the player’s hole or pocket cards. Then, 3 cards are revealed at the center of the table, which are called the flop. These are community cards that can be used by all players to create their best 5-card hand.

After the flop, there is another round of betting. Players must place chips into the pot equal to or higher than the amount placed by the player before them. If a player does not wish to raise his bet, he can “check,” which means that he will not bet at all during this hand.

A player may also choose to fold his hand after the final betting phase. This ends the round, and only those players who have not folded can win the pot. The game is usually fast-paced, and experienced players can read the bets of others to help them make decisions. Some players are more conservative, folding early and only staying in a hand when they have good cards; others are risk-takers that bet high for the chance of making a big win.