How to Play Poker

Poker is a card game where the object is to win the “pot,” which is the sum of all bets made in a single deal. It can be played with any number of players from 2 to 14, but a typical table will have 6 or 7 people.

To begin a hand, the dealer will shuffle a deck of cards. This may be done several times. The cards are then passed around the table in sets or as a community pile depending on the variant of poker being played. The player to the left of the dealer, who is known as the button, will open betting on a given deal.

The players will look at their two personal cards, as well as the five community cards on the table and decide how to play them. Bluffing is a big part of poker, but it is important to understand your opponent’s relative hand strength before making a bluff.

Once the initial round of betting is complete, another card will be dealt face up on the table. This is called the flop and there will be another round of betting.

When it’s your turn to act, you can say “call” if you want to place a bet the same as the one the person before you did. You can also raise your bet by saying “raise.” It’s important to know what the other players are doing, as they will often tell you what kind of hand they have with their body language.