Poker is a card game in which hands are dealt face up to determine the winner. After the final betting round, the hands are revealed, and players choose to either call or raise. The betting action in poker begins with the person to the left of the dealer, or “button.” In each hand, the player to the left of the button posts the small blind and the big blind. The blinds are forced bets that give the remaining players something to chase.

In the game, each player has five cards. The higher the number of cards, the higher the value of the hand. If the highest card is higher than the lowest card, the hand wins. In a tie, the highest card of the other players’ hands breaks the tie. The same holds true for the second highest card.

Poker has many variations, but the most popular version is Texas Hold’em. To begin a hand, the player must make an ante, or “buy in” bet, which can vary from $1 to $5. Betting rounds continue clockwise until all players have bet or folded, depending on the rules of the game.

Poker can also be played by doubling your stakes. While theoretically, stakes can be doubled each time, the house rules usually only allow this for a limited number of raises. After three or four raises, the stakes can become very high, and the player may be forced out because of insufficient funds. For this reason, most historical poker house rules limit stake raising to the amount that the previous raise was.