What is Poker?

Poker is a card game that involves betting on the outcome of individual hands. The most common poker variations task players with making the best five-card poker hand from a combination of the player’s private cards (known as hole cards) and the community cards dealt face up on the board. Hole cards remain concealed throughout the hand, only becoming visible to other players at showdown. Players can also place side bets, which are known as proposition bets.

The poker game’s betting structure varies by poker variant, but most use some form of a small blind, big blind, and dealer button with seat positions relative to those positions. Some poker tournament games also include antes, which are forced bets placed by all players at the start of each hand. The blind/ante levels in poker tournaments may increase at regularly scheduled intervals during the event.

While many people play poker for fun, some compete in poker tournaments with real money prize pools. These competitions are often referred to as poker tournaments and may be televised. Anyone who pays the entrance fee can participate in a poker tournament, though most players only receive a percentage of the total prize pool.

Players in a poker tournament can call the clock on another player at any time during a hand, although this is rare. This action is generally taken when a player takes an excessive amount of time to act. If a player calls the clock on someone else, the other player is given a minute to act and then the hand is declared dead.