Poker is a card game that can be played with two or more players. The ideal number of players is six to eight. Players bet on cards and the highest hand wins the pot. Players may use one card from their hand or four cards from the table to create their best hand. This hand is known as the “high hand.”

A player who does not win the hand must fold. This action is called dropping or folding. A player who folds forfeits their right to the pot. The player who folds will not compete for the pot and will forfeit all remaining cards. The winner of the main pot may be different from the winner of a side pot.

The stakes in theoretical poker are usually doubled each time a player raises. However, the house rules only permit this for a limited number of raises. After three or four raises, the stakes tend to be large and can force a player to fold because of lack of funds. This is why most historical poker houses limit stakes to the amount of the previous raise.

In cash games, players must place a minimum amount into the pot each round. However, in some variations of the game, players may be able to raise their bets. If a player decides to raise, the other players may call the bluff.