Poker is a card game that requires skill and strategy to win. It can be played in glitzy casinos or seedy dives, but the rules are generally the same. Players place a mandatory bet, called a blind or an ante, into the pot before they are dealt cards. They then have the option of raising or folding. The highest hand wins the pot.

The best poker hands are a pair, three distinct cards, four of a kind, or straight. The highest card breaks ties. There are also Hi-Lo games where the best high hand wins half of the pot, while the best low hand wins the other half. Players can also win both sides of the pot by “scooping.”

Players can choose to raise their own bet by adding chips to the betting pool. The player to their left then has the choice of calling the new bet or raising it further. To call a bet, a player must put the same amount of chips into the pot as the previous player or more. If a player does not wish to continue, they can fold their cards and drop them into the dealer’s face down. The dealer then reshuffles and cuts the cards. When the next deal begins, the player to their left becomes the button. The button passes clockwise after each hand. During a hand, players must not expose their cards to their opponents. If a player exposes a card before the deal, it is considered a misdeal and the cards must be retrieved, reshuffled, and recut.