Poker is a card game with hundreds of variations. The basic rules of most variants are the same, although there may be variations in how cards are dealt and how the players are rewarded for winning their ante or play bets.
Ante: In some variants of the game, each player must make an initial contribution to the pot, called an “ante.” After a bet is made, the dealer deals five cards to each player face-down. The player who holds the best hand wins the pot.
Betting: In most variants of the game, there are one or more betting intervals during which players have an opportunity to place bets on their hands. When the betting interval ends, all active players must either call (i.e., match) a bet or raise to the amount of the bet.
Folding: In many variants of the game, a player can fold when he does not have a strong enough hand to continue playing. This is a strategy that has limited utility in most games, but it may be effective when playing low-stakes tournaments or against players who are not very good.
Check: In some variants of the game, a player may check if no money has been raised since his last turn. If he checks, he must pass the bet to the next player on the betting round.
A common idiom in poker is to “play the player, not your cards.” In other words, you should consider how well your hand will compare to the other hands at the table. A great player is the one who knows when he has been beaten, and will lay down his hand intelligently to avoid losing more chips.