Poker is a card game in which players try to create the best hand possible. It is played in hundreds of variations and is a popular form of gambling.

The rules of a standard poker game are very simple: each player is dealt a set of cards and must bet on the rank of those cards. The betting round proceeds clockwise as each player in turn must either match (call) the maximum previous bet, or fold, losing the amount bet so far and all involvement in the hand.

Each player receives one card face down and one card face up, referred to as his hole cards. The deal is interrupted for a betting interval, then repeated three times, each time distributing another card face up to each active player.

There are many strategies for a poker player to use, but the most important one is to bet aggressively. This can be accomplished by maximizing the value of your opening hand or by making sure to raise with a premium pair like Kings, Queens or Aces.

It is also a good idea to bet more frequently than others at the table, especially if you have a strong starting hand. This can help you assert your dominance at a 6-max or 9-max table.

Poker is a very popular form of gambling, and it can be fun to watch the action on the table. However, it takes skill and strategy to win at it.