Poker is a card game played by two or more players. It is a game of chance, but it also involves elements of psychology and game theory. In most variants of the game, players are required to place forced bets before being dealt cards. These bets are known as blind bets, and they give the players an incentive to play. Once the cards are dealt, betting continues in rounds. The highest hand wins the pot.

A player may bluff by betting that they have the best hand when in fact they do not, or may call (i.e. match) the bets of other players in order to stay in the hand. If the other players call the bluff, the player who holds the superior hand wins the pot.

Another important aspect of poker is knowing how to read your opponents. This can be done by noticing their body language and knowing what tells to look out for. This is important because it can help you determine whether they are bluffing or not and it will also allow you to know when you are bluffing.

During the betting phase of a hand, the first round begins with 2 mandatory bets called blinds that are placed into the pot by the two players to the left of the dealer. Thereafter, the dealer deals each player 2 face-down cards. There is then a second round of betting, after which the players may choose to discard and draw one more card. If a player opens, they must raise the bet and other players may choose to call it or fold.