Poker is a card game in which players place bets by using their cards. The goal of the game is to form the highest possible hand, known as a poker hand. A hand can consist of a single card, four cards from the table, or a combination of any of these. The player with the highest hand wins the game.

In poker, players can double their stakes any number of times, but this should be done cautiously. Increasing the stakes after three or four raises tends to make the stakes quite large, and it is possible that the player may be forced to fold if they do not have enough money. To avoid this, most historical poker house rules state that players may only double their stakes to the previous raise amount.

Almost all poker games are played using poker chips. Usually, the first player to raise is called the “ante.” Players may also place chips into a kitty. The kitty is a special fund that is shared by all players. The money in the kitty is used to purchase new decks of cards and food. The kitty is divided between the players who are still playing, so players who leave before the game ends do not receive any of the kitty chips.

Poker is played with a group of players sitting around a circular or oval table. Each player receives one card from a shuffled deck. The player with the highest card becomes the dealer. During a hand, the dealer then passes the button around clockwise to the players to deal cards.