The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game in which players compete to win an amount of money or chips contributed by the other players (the pot). The underlying skill in poker is minimising losses with poor hands and maximising wins with good ones. In addition, poker involves social interaction and strategy. Players use a variety of strategies to determine when to call, raise, or fold.

Although there are a number of claims regarding the antiquity of poker, it can never be older than playing cards themselves, which were first positively attested in 13th century China, but are believed to have developed from a much earlier common ancestor. The name of the game is a anglicization of the French word Pique, which in turn is a diminutive of the verb piquer, meaning to cut, or in other words, to bet.

Regardless of the exact rules of any specific poker game, there are some universally agreed upon standards. All poker games are played with a standard pack of 52 cards, ranked (from highest to lowest) as Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10. A game may include wild cards that can take on any suit or rank a player wishes. Some poker variants also employ additional cards called jokers.

In most poker games, a dealer is chosen by the players and this person deals cards to each player. The dealer button, which indicates who is responsible for opening the betting round, is generally located to the left of the chips. The dealer will often set the ante, any rules about raising or calling, and whether there is a maximum bet.