Poker is a card game in which players compete to make the best hand. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot, which is the sum of all the bets made by all players in a single deal.

Poker can be played with any number of players, but in most forms the ideal number is 6 or 7. In a game of poker, there are two betting rounds. The first is called the pre-flop betting phase and the second is called the flop.

Bluffing is a technique in which a player makes a bet without telling others that he has done so. If no other player calls, the bettor is awarded the pot and the hand ends immediately.

The game begins with an initial bet (ante) by each player. This initial bet helps give the pot a value right off the bat, and it ensures that the players have something to chase.

An ante is usually the same size as the small blind and big blind, but it can be different in a tournament or when there are more players than usual. The player who posts the ante is designated the first-to-act position, and he is the one who acts in turn during the betting rounds.

Calling is making a bet that matches the previous bet or raise. You can also say “I call” when you want to bet the same amount as the last person, or if the person to your left just folded and you don’t have a better hand.