The game of Poker is played between two or more players and is a card-based game with betting that involves the accumulation of all bets into one pot. In the simplest form, the object of Poker is to win this pot by having the highest ranking hand at the end of the betting intervals (or “showdown”), which requires players to reveal their cards. While the outcome of any particular hand may involve considerable chance, over time a player’s actions are determined by their choice to bet or not, which is made on the basis of probability, psychology, and game theory.
The cards are dealt from a standard 52-card pack, sometimes with the addition of one or two jokers. The cards are shuffled and cut by the dealer before each deal. Some poker variants use more than one pack of cards for the deal, but a single deck is generally used for dealing and shuffling.
When a player has a weak hand, they may fold their cards and leave the table, while strong hands must call bets to stay in the hand. Players can also bluff by betting that they have a good hand when in fact they do not. If players holding superior hands call the bluff, the bluffing player will lose chips.
When a player wishes to remain in the hand without raising, they say “check.” This does not imply that they will not raise if play comes around to them again later in the same betting round or on a later betting interval.