Official poker is a card game where players compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by the players themselves (called the pot). Each player attempts to control the amount in the pot based on their own hand and their prediction as to what their opponents are holding. While primarily a game of chance, it can also involve a large element of psychology and skill.

Most forms of poker require some form of compulsory bet at the start of each hand called a blind or an ante. Some forms of poker also have a small and a big blind, the latter being usually twice as high as the former. Players may place their bets by raising, calling or folding. It is also possible to win poker hands without having the best cards by bluffing, a technique that involves projecting confidence in one’s own hand to make the others think they have a better one than they do.

In the game of poker, a standard 52-card pack with two jokers is used, although many clubs and tournament games use stripped packs that remove some cards such as all deuces and treys. The game is generally played by a number of players around a table. Before play begins an initial dealer is chosen by having each player draw a card from a shuffled deck and the player who receives the highest card becomes the first dealer. Ties are broken by a repeated deal.