What is Poker?

Poker is a card game in which players place bets by raising or folding their cards. It is played with a standard 52-card deck. The object is to win the pot, which represents all bets made in a given deal. This may be done by having the highest-ranking hand or by betting, or both, that no other player has a higher hand. Various forms of poker exist, but the game is generally played by two or more players.

In casual play, the right to deal a hand passes from player to player around the table, marked by a token called a dealer button (or buck). In a casino, a single house dealer handles each round of dealing. The button also marks the nominal dealer to determine the order of betting. Any player may shuffle the cards and offer them for a cut, but the dealer has the last right to cut.

Players may raise or fold their cards after each round of betting. If a player folds, they do not participate in the next round of betting and can no longer compete for the pot. If all players but one raise at the final betting round, the hand is revealed and the winner takes the pot.

The game requires a large, round table and chairs. There are many variations of the game, but most involve four or more cards per player and a maximum of 8 players. Some forms of poker can be played with fewer than eight, but this is not recommended for beginners.