Poker is a card game that involves betting. In its basic form, the game has a simple structure: one or more players make forced bets—either an ante or blind bet—and the dealer then deals cards to the players one at a time. Each player may then choose to raise or fold his or her cards. If a player chooses to raise, each other player must call the new bet or fold, and the players reveal their hands at the end of the hand.

The goal of poker is to win as many chips as possible, which can be done by forming strong value hands or by bluffing. Bluffing is a risky strategy, but it can be successful if the player’s opponents misread his or her intentions. The game can also be played by matching a previous player’s raise, which is known as calling.

Although the game of poker has hundreds of variations, it is essentially a game of betting, with the underlying objective of winning as much money as possible. Unlike most casino games, most poker is not played with real cash; instead, players use colored chips that represent different amounts of money. This is a practical choice that has a few advantages over using actual cash, including that it is easier to stack and count, harder to lose, and more fun for the players. The game’s popularity increased early in the 21st century, largely due to the advent of online poker and the introduction of hole-card cameras that allowed live television broadcasts of major events.