Poker is a card game for two or more players. The object of the game is to win a pot, which is the sum of all bets made by all players in one deal. The pot can be won by having the highest-ranking hand at the end of the betting round, or by making a bet that no other player calls. A poker hand consists of five cards.
Each betting interval (round) begins when a player makes a bet of one or more chips. Each player to his left may call the bet by putting in the same number of chips as the bet, raise it by adding more than the amount of the bet, or drop out of the pot entirely by throwing away their hand (as this is known). Players are not allowed to talk during a poker round and must always act in turn.
A good poker player must be able to read their opponents and have a strong emotional control. They also need to understand the basic principles of probability and game theory. Bluffing is a key part of the game and it is important to know how to use it effectively. It is also necessary to have a solid understanding of the different betting structures (such as fixed limit, no-limit, and pot-limit) and how they affect the game.
A good poker book contains a lot of practical advice and anecdotes about how to play well. It should also contain lots of details about specific hands that have been played. This is because anecdotes are more interesting than generalities and provide readers with a concrete example of the subject matter being discussed.