Poker is a popular game that’s easy to learn but difficult to master. Although it’s a card game, poker is also a game of strategy, and one need to constantly read the other players to decide when to fold, when to bluff, and when to call someone else’s bluff.
There are many variations of poker. While each variation has its own rules, the basics of the game are always the same. Often using a standard deck, poker games vary in deck configuration, the number of cards in play, the number dealt face up or face down, and the number shared by all players, but all have rules which involve one or more rounds of betting.
In most modern poker games the first round of betting begins with one or more of the players making some form of a forced bet (the blind or ante). In standard poker, each player bets according to the rank they believe their hand is worth as compared to the other players. The action then proceeds clockwise as each player in turn must either match (or "call") the maximum previous bet, or fold, losing the amount bet so far and all further involvement in the hand.
A player who matches a bet may also "raise" (increase) the bet. The betting round ends when all players have either called the last bet or folded. If all but one player folds on any round, the remaining player collects the pot without being required to reveal their hand. If more than one player remains in contention after the final betting round, a showdown takes place where the hands are revealed, and the player with the winning hand takes the pot.