Official poker is a card game played by individuals for real money. It involves bluffing, betting and managing one’s risk to maximize winnings with good hands and minimize losses with poor ones. It can be played at home for pennies or matchsticks, in casinos with thousands of dollars at stake and in world-famous tournaments with large prize pools.

In casual play, the players take turns dealing each hand. Each player also buys in for a fixed number of chips. A white chip is usually worth the lowest-denomination ante or bet; red chips are generally worth five whites; and blue chips may be worth two, four or five reds. The dealer button (a white plastic disk) indicates the nominal dealer, who determines the order of betting.

If a player has a bad hand, he or she can try to improve it by raising, which increases the amount of money in the pot. This is a crucial element of the game and makes it different from other gambling games.

There are many rules and regulations that must be followed in official poker games. These include maintaining proper card and chip visibility and countability, not touching another player’s cards or chips, avoiding chatter that is disruptive to other players and keeping one’s behavior above reproach. Players must also follow house and game-specific etiquette.

Online poker sites accept a variety of deposit methods, including major credit cards and popular cryptocurrency. In addition, some allow checks and MoneyGram transfers. However, these methods have lower limits than credit cards and can sometimes take up to two weeks to clear.