Poker is a card game in which players wager money against one another. It is played from a standard pack of 52 cards (some variants use multiple packs and add jokers), ranked from highest to lowest, in four suits: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. The highest hand wins.

The game is governed by a series of betting rounds, each of which ends when all active players have bet or raised the same amount. If a player is forced to make an initial bet (such as a dealer button), then that bet is called the “starting bet.”

After the start bet, all other players must either call, or raise, if they wish to remain in the pot. Raise:

To raise, a player must put a specified number of chips into the pot before calling the bet. If the player does not have enough chips to call the amount, they must fold or pass.

A player may also check, which means that they are not raising or calling but do not want to place any more chips into the pot. Checking is usually done by tapping the table or making any similar motion.

In most games, a player is required to announce their intentions before placing any chips in the pot. This makes it more difficult to misjudge the amount of a bet.

A common mistake is to toss oversized chips directly into the pot, which is known as splashing the pot. This causes confusion over the amount of a raise and can be used to hide the true amount of a bet.