Poker is a card game played by two or more players. Each player has chips that can be used to make bets. The object is to have the highest-ranking poker hand at a showdown, which wins the “pot,” which is the total of all bets placed in a single deal. Players have to examine their own cards and compare them with those of the opponents to determine who has the best hand.

While some skills are more important than others, a good poker player must be well-versed in the fundamentals. These include knowing the odds that apply to each bet, understanding your opponent’s “tells,” and concealing your own tells. The ability to play strong value hands and bluff appropriately also contributes to your success. In addition, it is important to know how much of the game is based on chance and how to minimize that percentage.

A player must have at least one white chip in order to participate in a game of Poker. Other chips are also used, which are worth different amounts according to their color and value: a blue chip is worth five whites, for example, while a black chip is worth only two whites. At the start of a game, each player must buy in for the amount of chips they wish to use. There are various ways to do this, but most often the player buys in with the same amount of white chips that the dealer has.