Poker is a card game with a number of different variants. It is played by two or more people and is a game of chance, but also one where bluffing can help win. It is a popular spectator sport and is watched by many, especially through broadcasts of major events such as the World Series of Poker and other poker tournaments.

Each player starts with 2 cards face down, then a round of betting is made starting with the player to the left of the dealer. There are usually 2 mandatory bets put into the pot called blinds before the players get their cards. These are placed by the players to give them an incentive to play and to create a pot of money for winning.

When it is your turn to act, you can say “call” or “raise” to place a bet equal to the last person’s bet or higher. This can help you force weaker hands out of the hand and raise the value of your pot.

The rules vary between games, but the basic strategy is to have a good hand and bet on it, or at least try to scare your opponents into surrendering. The better your hand is, the more money you will make. It is also possible to win without having a good hand by using your bluffing skills and your opponents’ reactions (tells). Calculating the frequencies of different poker hands is a fun and challenging exercise, but even if you don’t know how to calculate them, you can learn a lot by watching other people play and reading about it.