Poker is a card game in which players wager money on the strength of their hands. It is played in many variants throughout the world, in homes, in casinos, in clubs, and on the Internet. Players place bets and may raise them as the round progresses, with one or more players calling (matching) the bet or conceding. In addition, players may bluff by betting that they hold superior hands when in fact they do not, in order to win the pot.

A poker hand consists of five cards and ranks in inverse proportion to their mathematical frequency, which means that the more rare a hand is, the higher its rank. A player must have a minimum of five cards to receive any bet, and each hand must beat all other hands to win the pot.

After the cards are dealt, a series of betting intervals begin (determined by the specific poker variant). The player to the dealer’s right must make the first bet, and players must either call this amount by placing chips in the pot or raise it.

During a hand, an expert poker player must keep their cards secret and hide tells from other players. These tells are unconscious physical clues that reveal information about the player’s hand, such as facial or body tics, staring at a particular card, or nervous habits like biting fingernails or rubbing eyes. A good poker player will also wear sunglasses or a hat in order to conceal their face, and will avoid putting a finger over their nose or mouth to prevent accidental tells.