The Official Poker Guide

Poker is a card game in which players compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by the other players. It has become one of the most popular casino games and is played in tournaments, home games, poker clubs, casinos, and over the Internet. It has been called America’s national card game and its rules, history, and jargon are widely known. It is a vying game in which each player must either call (match) the bet of an opponent or concede. In addition, players may win by bluffing.

In a standard poker game, five cards are dealt to each player. The highest hand wins. A poker game can also include wild cards or other special cards. In most cases the cards are ranked according to their numerical value, with the highest ranking being Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10. In some variants of poker, additional rules apply for specific situations.

In some poker games a professional dealer deals the cards for each hand. In tournament play and in casinos a small disk, known as the button or buck, is passed clockwise among the players to indicate the nominal dealer for betting purposes. This arrangement allows the house to charge players either by imposing hourly seat rentals or by “raking” a small percentage of each pot. In casual poker games the players deal the cards themselves. If a player fails to protect his or her cards by placing a chip or other object over them, he is penalized.