What is Poker?

Poker is a card game in which players compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by the player themselves, called the pot. It is a game of skill and strategy, with the outcome largely dependent on a player’s ability to predict what their opponents are holding and how they will act. Players can win the pot by making a hand that beats other players’ hands or by calling their opponents’ bluffs. There are many variants of poker, with a variety of rules and betting procedures.

Players begin by anteing a set amount of money (the amount varies by game) to be dealt cards. Then they place chips into the pot, with the highest hand winning the pot. Each hand is played in rounds, with betting in each round occurring clockwise from the button. Raising is allowed within a single round, but may not occur until the button has passed to the next player.

In most games, only a small percentage of the players receive any money, with the majority receiving nothing at all. However, some games do have a fixed payout system where the winner gets all of the money.

The game is largely popular in the United States, where it is a major source of gambling revenue. The growth of the game in recent decades has been fueled by increased television coverage, the development of online poker rooms, and by the rise of televised tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour.