Poker is a card game played with two or more players and a fixed number of cards. The goal is to win the pot, which consists of all the bets made by players during one deal. The cards are dealt in rounds and a showdown occurs at the end of the last betting round. The player with the best hand wins the pot.

A basic deck of 52 cards is used, with the joker acting as a wild card (except when making a flush or certain other special hands). The turn to deal and bet passes clockwise from player to player. Before the first deal, the cards are shuffled and cut. This is known as a “button” deal. The button player has the right to reshuffle and cut after each deal.

When it is a player’s turn, they place a number of chips or cash into the pot, representing their bet. A player may also raise the previous bet by adding more chips to the pot. To raise, a player must say “raise” and each player must either call the raised bet or fold their hand.

The game is played in glitzy casinos and seedy dives alike, and it has become a wildly popular spectator sport. Players often study how other players react in order to develop quick instincts that lead to success. Though poker is primarily a game of chance, it can involve considerable skill and psychology when players make bets.