Official poker is a card game that requires both luck and skill to win. A combination of the two allows players to control the outcome of a hand, and the application of skill over time will reduce variance.
When a player decides to take action in a hand by calling, raising or folding, they have entered the pot and become committed to that action. This is a rule that all players should be familiar with, and it is a good idea to review the rules on occasion.
All players begin a hand by posting an amount of money (varies per game) into the pot to be dealt cards. This is known as the ante. Players then bet into the pot after each round of betting and when all bets are completed the showdown takes place where the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot.
Before the showdown occurs the dealer draws three cards face up and puts them on the table. These are called the flop and they can be seen by all players who did not fold at the preflop stage. Once all players have viewed the flop, they can again choose to check, raise or fold their hand.
A player who is all-in will usually choose to show their hand in order to speed up play. This may be done to show that they have the best hand or to give other players information about their hand. A hand that is shown before the showdown is also considered to be in the pot and it must be played unless it would violate another player’s privacy.