Official poker is a card game played with chips that represent the player’s stake in the game. Each player must buy-in for a fixed amount and begins with a total of equal value chips. When the betting interval ends there is a showdown where each remaining player shows their cards face up on the table and the best hand wins the pot. When a player verbally states that they are going to raise, call, or fold their action is binding. Raising is only capped when players are heads-up.
There are many variants of poker, but Texas hold ’em is the most popular and widely played form. It is a game of community cards in which each player receives two hole cards, and they must make the best five-card poker hand from those cards and the five community cards dealt in three stages: a series of three cards (the flop), an additional single card (the turn), and a final fifth card (the river).
The game has become hugely popular since its dramatic rise in popularity at the beginning of the 21st century, when television coverage of major tournaments introduced viewers to the drama and excitement of the game, and made famous players into celebrities. As a result, the game became a spectator sport, with people around the world entering poker tournaments to compete for large prizes.
The game is usually played with a standard 52-card pack, and sometimes includes one or two jokers for use as wild cards. The dealer determines the type of poker and establishes the ante, bet, and raise limits for each round.