Poker is a card game in which players bet money into a pot and try to win it by having the best hand. It is a popular game with both amateurs and professionals, and is often played at home.

The basic rules of the game are straightforward: cards are shuffled and dealt in rotation to the left, and bets and raises are made clockwise from the dealer. When a player calls, they must match the amount of a previous bet or raise.

When a player does not call, they must fold their hand and forfeit interest in the pot. They cannot enter the pot again unless they win it.

A player may indicate that they are folding by verbally or by turning their cards face down, which is commonly called mucking. A person may also signal that they are folding by putting their entire hand into the muck or into the pot (uncommon).

Poker is an informational game, and it is important to act in turn, in clockwise rotation. Taking a step out of turn can negatively affect other players, and it is usually best to wait for the next player’s turn.

In some games the last player to act, known as the dealer, has a special role. When this person acts, the dealer button passes to the next player on the left.

A poker hand is made up of five cards, with the highest-ranking hands consisting of a pair and higher. A straight is a five-card sequence that skips around in rank or suit, while a flush is any set of consecutive cards from the same suit.