Poker is a card game for two or more players and is played with chips (representing money, for which poker is almost invariably played). In all of its variants, each player places a bet into the pot (which is the total contribution to that hand) in turn, according to the rules of the particular poker game being played. The highest hand wins the pot.

Each player begins the game with a deck of cards that are dealt face down. During the course of a hand, each player may discard one or more of their cards and draw replacements from the deck. After a hand is complete, the cards are re-shuffled and the dealer button is passed clockwise from player to player.

As the game progresses, it’s important to keep track of your stack size. Having a short stack can make it difficult to call big bets with good hands. Having a deep stack can give you the flexibility to play more hands and get aggressive when you have a strong one.

It’s also vital to understand how to read other players. While the overall ability to read people’s facial expressions and body language is a valuable skill, there are certain details that are unique to poker. For example, conservative players tend to fold early and can be easily bluffed by more aggressive players. Conversely, some players are risk-takers who bet high early in a hand and may raise again later.