Poker is a card game that is played in private homes and casinos around the world. It can also be played online. In the United States, about 60 million people play the game. The number is expected to grow in the future.

The objective of poker is to create the best possible hand. Several different combinations of five cards are used to create a poker hand. A hand can be a combination of player cards or community cards. If a player has a five-card hand, the highest card will win.

Poker can be played with one, four, or six players. The ideal number is between six and eight. Usually, there are two players who remain in contention after the final betting round.

Before the first hand, each player is required to make an ante. This is a small bet. Each round, the dealer shuffles cards and distributes them face up to each active player.

After each round of dealing, the dealer passes the button clockwise. At this time, the betting phase begins. Players can discard up to three cards.

The first bettor is responsible for making the first bet. Once the bet has been made, the next player in turn may check or raise. As the turn passes, if no other player bets, the previous bettor is said to fold.

The last player to bet is the one who is left in the pot. A bet can be made with either a blind, an ante, or a forced bet.