Poker is a game of chance where players compete to form the best poker hand. There are many different variants of poker, but all share the same essential features.

Before each hand, every player is required to contribute an amount of money called an ante. These can be small, such as a dollar or $5, or larger, such as a $10 bet. Once the ante is paid, the dealer deals two cards to each player and keeps them secret.

When a betting round begins, each player to the left of the dealer must make a bet that matches the ante or “calls.” If no other players call the ante, the betting round ends with all players revealing their hands and placing their chips in the pot.

In some variations of the game, a player may choose to “check,” which means they are not interested in making any more bets at this time. If a player chooses to “raise,” they can put in more chips than the previous players, but all players must call their raise.

One of the biggest mistakes poker players make is that they tend to bluff too much. By bluffing too much, they can give themselves an unfair advantage over other players.