Poker is a card game in which players place wagers on the outcome of a hand. A player’s goal is to win wagers by making the best poker hand or convincing other players to fold their hands.

Depending on the rules of a specific game, one or more players are forced to put an initial amount of money into the pot before they see their cards. This is called the ante, blind or bring-in. These forced bets create a pot and encourage competition.

Once the dealer has shuffled the deck and cut it, the players may then begin betting. Each player must have a supply of poker chips. A white chip is the lowest-valued unit worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites, and a blue chip is worth 10 whites.

After each player has a set of two cards, they have the option to check, call or raise in turn, adding money or chips to an ever-increasing pot. Players are encouraged to study the behavior of other players in order to learn their relative hand strength. Some tells include shallow breathing, sighing, flaring nostrils, flushing skin and shaking hands.

Once the first round of betting has been completed the dealer will then deal three additional cards face up on the table, which are considered community cards and can be used by everyone in the hand. Then he will deal a single card on the river, which is the final card in the hand and which determines the winner of the pot.