Poker is a card game in which players compete to make the best hand. It is played in clubs, casinos, and over the Internet. It is one of the world’s most popular games and is considered a “national” card game of the United States.

To start, a player must bet an ante of one or more chips. This ante is the “buy-in” to the game and serves as a contribution to the pot, which all players must share.

Once all the ante has been paid, the dealer deals out cards face-up to the players. Each player can then choose to fold, which means that they don’t play this round, or call, which means that they match the bet of their opponent.

Then, the first of what may be several betting rounds begins. Between rounds, the players’ hands develop in some way, often by being dealt additional cards or replaced by new ones.

At the end of each betting interval, all bets are gathered into the central pot and the best poker hand wins. If there is a tie, the winnings are shared.

Various forms of poker are played, each with its own rules and betting system. Some of these games are played by two or more players, while others involve a single dealer who deals out the cards to all of the players.