Poker is a card game played by a group of players against one another. It is a game of chance, but it also requires skill, strategy, and knowledge of the other players. The game may be played by any number of people and has many different variations. There are also a variety of rules that determine how the game is played, including how much players can raise or call during a betting round and how cards are dealt.
The value of a hand is determined by its relative mathematical frequency, with higher hands generally having greater value than lower ones. In most forms of the game, players must place a mandatory bet at the beginning of each hand, called a blind bet or an ante. This bet is usually twice as large as the maximum raise in that betting interval. Players may also choose to bluff, which involves betting that they have a superior hand and hoping that other players will call their bet and reveal their cards.
Most poker games are played using chips, which represent money rather than actual cash. This makes the game more convenient for players as it is easier to stack, count, and make change with chips than it is with cash. Chips are also more psychologically significant than paper bills, which can be thrown away and forgotten easily. In addition to the antes, bets, and bluffing, there is a final showdown where each player reveals his or her hand. The player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot.