The Basics of Poker
Poker is a card game that has some elements of chance but is predominantly a game of skill, psychology, and game theory. The game is played in a variety of ways, from simple home games to large casino tournaments. In the latter case, players compete to win a pot, or pot total, consisting of the bets made by all active players in a given betting interval. The winner is determined by whoever has the highest hand at the end of the round. During each betting interval, one player (designated by the rules of the particular game being played) has the privilege or obligation to make the first bet, and then players place chips into the pot in turn, either calling, raising, or folding.
When a player makes a call, they must match the maximum previous bet or raise it. If a player makes an all-in bet, they must put all of their remaining chips into the pot.
Players can also exercise some control over the size of the pot by being the last to act in a given betting interval. If you have a strong value hand, this can allow you to inflate the pot and get more value out of it. If you have a weak or drawing hand, it may help you keep the pot size small and avoid making a bad decision.
It is important to respect the dealer. They are only doing their job, and while they sometimes make mistakes, that is not a good reason to give them a hard time.