The rules of the game are fairly simple, but it is actually playing the game that gives a player a sense of strategy that works for him or her. The hand usually begins with every player betting the same amount before the cards are even dealt. This “ante” is a confirmation that a player intends to participate in the round about to be played. Once the players have replaced their unwanted cards with fresh cards from the deck, the betting begins.
The first player to bet throws one or more chips in the pot (chips or whatever is being wagered is piled in the center of the table). The next player can call this bet by throwing an equal amount of chips or whatever is being wagered. If that player wishes to raise the pot, he or she can do so by simply calling the previous bet and adding to the pot. A player may also fold, if he or she wishes, by simply turning the cards face down and declaring a fold. This player is officially out of the round and loses whatever contribution he or she has made to the pot.
Bluffing is also a big part of the game. If a player can lead other players into thinking that he or she has a winning hand, then they may fold before they realize that player has a poor hand. They have to be willing to call a bet in order to find out what that hand really holds.