Official poker is a game of skill and chance. It has been played since the 1830s and is now popular in casinos and social clubs throughout the world. The most common form of the game is Texas hold ’em, but there are many variations and different rules.
The game begins with a dealer, who shuffles the cards and deals them to each player one at a time. Players have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding their hand. The round of betting continues until all players have either called or folded their last bet, and a final betting interval is reached.
Often, there are several betting rounds between each deal; this is done in order to allow players to develop their hands and improve their chances of winning. After each round, the chips of the players who remain are gathered into a central pot. The best five-card poker hand wins the pot.
A standard 52-card deck, sometimes with the addition of one or two jokers, is used. Most poker tournaments use two packs of contrasting colors, which can speed up the game and make it easier to see the cards.
There is a professional organization managing the rules of poker, the Tournament Directors Association (TDA). It was established in 2001 by Matt Savage, Linda Johnson and Jan Fisher to standardize the rules of the game. It has more than 2,500 members in 63 countries worldwide and meets every two years to review the rules.