Poker is a card game played around the world. It is a popular form of gambling and can be found in private homes, card clubs, casinos and on the Internet. The rules of each poker variant are different, but there are several common strategies and betting rounds.
Players begin by placing a small bet called an ante before being dealt cards. Depending on the particular variant, this may be an amount of money or chips. The dealer then deals cards to all the players one by one, starting with the player on the left of the table.
Each player is then required to place a number of chips into the pot that makes their contribution to the pot at least as large as the total of the players before them. This is the pot, and it is the goal of each player to control this amount by betting based on their hand or by predicting how their opponents will play.
When the betting round begins, a player can bet, call (match), fold, or raise. If a player chooses to bet, the other players must respond with a bet of their own, or fold if they do not want to be involved.
Each round of betting ends with the player who bet last being awarded the pot and all the other bets being gathered into it. If the player who bet last folds, no bets are placed by other players and the hand ends immediately.