Poker is a game of betting, cards and strategy. It is played in casinos, at home and in communities. It is the most popular form of gambling in the United States, and is one of the most popular games in the world.

The rules of Poker vary according to the variant, but the basic principle is to play a complete hand of five cards (called the flop) with the intent of making the best possible combination of those cards. The player with the highest hand wins the pot.

A complete hand is dealt to each player face-down and the first round of betting begins, usually with a minimum amount called an “ante.” After that, players can see their cards and decide whether to call, fold, or raise.

If more than one player calls a bet, the pot is split between the players who called. This process is repeated until everyone calls or folds.

Betting is typically done in clockwise order and consists of the following steps:

Place an Ante – In most games, each player must place an initial contribution, called an “ante,” to the pot to get dealt cards. These ante amounts can range from a nickel to several dollars.

Deal the Cards – A dealer will shuffle the deck and then cut it and deal the appropriate number of cards to each player, starting with the player to his left. This is known as the “deal.”

Next, players bet, calling, checking or raising their antes. Depending on the specific variant, there may be several rounds of betting between each deal.