Poker is a card game that can be played socially or professionally for pennies or thousands of dollars. Its bluffing element makes it a fascinating game, but it requires a great deal of skill to win.

There are a number of basic rules that every poker player should know. A key rule is that a verbal declaration of an action such as a bet, call, or fold is binding. It is important to keep this in mind so that you don’t accidentally misplay your hand.

Another important poker rule is that players cannot reveal their hands unless they are all-in. This prevents other players from analyzing your bluffs. It is also important to protect your hand by using a chip, your hand, or other objects to cover it. In addition, you must always make sure your bets are equal to or higher than the previous player’s raise or initial bet.

When playing in a poker tournament, you can call clock on another player if he or she is taking an excessive amount of time to act. However, this should be done sparingly. If you call clock, a floorperson will come to the table and give the challenged player one minute to act. If the player does not act, his or her hand is dead and he or she must fold.

Poker tournaments differ from cash games in that players pay an admission fee to compete for a portion of the prize pool. This prize pool is often made up of the total amount of chips won by the players during the tournament. The prize pool will usually be paid out to between 10% and 30% of the participants depending on how many entrants there are in the event.