Official poker is a card game in which players are dealt cards and then wager on the strength of their hand. The game is played in casinos, homes and private rooms with friends for pennies or matchsticks, as well as professionally and for thousands of dollars. The game requires a lot of luck, but also a great deal of skill and knowledge. The game has a number of rules and an official organizer, the Professional Tournament Directors Association.
A player must verbally state their action, whether they call, raise or fold. This is important as it allows other players to gather information about your strategy and intentions. In addition, it ensures that all players are following the rules and that no one is cheating or exploiting other players.
The game of official poker evolved from a German bluffing game called Pochen (pronounced Po-cheen), and from the French version of this game, Poque, which was played in New Orleans gambling saloons on steamers plying the Mississippi River. It was also influenced by the three-card British game Brag, which had adopted the draw to add the potential for a stronger hand.
The game is usually played with poker chips, which are standardized in value: A white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; red chips are worth 10 whites; and blue chips are worth 20 whites. By agreement, players establish a “kitty” to be used for buying new decks of cards and paying for food and drinks. The chips in the kitty belong to all players equally, and they may not leave the game before it ends.