Poker is a card game that involves luck and skill. Although much of the game is based on chance, it can be very profitable to the players who play it well. In order to win, the players must make decisions based on probability and psychology. The object of the game is to execute actions (bet, raise, or fold) that maximize long-term expectations.

At the beginning of each hand, one or more forced bets are made, usually an ante and/or blind bet. The dealer then shuffles the cards and deals them out to each player, starting with the player to their left. Depending on the game, there may be several betting rounds with the highest hand winning the pot. During the betting round, each player may exchange their cards for replacements if they wish to improve their hand.

When it is your turn to act, you must decide whether to call or raise the last person’s bet. If you choose to call, you must put chips or cash into the pot equal to that of the last person’s bet. If there are no calls, you must fold. You should avoid calling if you do not have a strong value hand, as this will force you to continue in the hand for higher prices than you would otherwise pay. If you are in position, you can also exercise pot control by raising your own bets to inflate the pot and make it harder for your opponents to call you with weak hands.