Poker is a card game where the goal is to win money from the other players by having the best five-card hand. The winning player gets all of the chips that were put down as ante and blind bets. The other players who have the best hands share the pot, depending on the rules of the game.

There are many different forms of poker, but most games involve six or more players and a single dealer. Players put down a forced bet at the beginning of each round, called an ante or blind bet, and then are dealt cards. The cards may be dealt face up or down, depending on the variant being played. After the cards are dealt there is a betting round and then a final phase where players reveal their hands.

During the betting rounds it is important to bet appropriately and not over-bet. Over-betting leads to other players folding, which costs them money and hurts your chances of winning the pot. You can also call a bet and raise it if you think your hand is strong enough to beat the other players’ hands.

Once the betting round is complete and all players have revealed their hands, a winner is declared. This is usually the player with the highest ranked hand, but sometimes there is a tie and the pot is split among players with the same hand.

If you’re new to poker, it’s best to start at the lowest limit. This way you can play versus weaker players and learn the game without risking too much money. Once you’ve gained some experience, you can move up the limits and play against better players.

The game has a lot of vocabulary, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the terms before you play. Some of the words you’ll need to know include ante – the first amount of money that is put in before the betting starts; fold – to forfeit a hand; and call – to match another player’s bet.

It’s okay to sit out a hand if you need to go to the restroom, get food or drink, or take care of something else. However, you shouldn’t do this too often, or it will become unfair to the rest of the table. It’s also courteous to say you’re going to “sit out” if you want to be fair to the other players.

After the betting round is over and all players have a chance to check their hands, the dealer puts three more cards on the table that anyone can use. This is called the flop. Then a final betting round begins.

After the final betting round is over and all players have matched bets, it’s time to showdown. The dealer will place the last card on the table that anyone can use. This card is called the river. Then each player will reveal their hand and the person with the best 5-card hand wins the pot.