Poker is a family of comparing card games in which players wager over which hand is best according to that specific game’s rules. The game has a number of variations and is played around the world, though the most popular is Texas hold ’em.

The game starts with a player placing an ante (or blind). All other players are dealt cards and must place bets to see their cards. The betting round ends when all players have either called or folded, losing the amount of the antes.

Official poker terms and gestures are simple, unmistakable, time-honored declarations like bet, raise, call, fold, check, all-in, complete, and pot (pot-limit only). Non-standard terms or gestures may have multiple meanings; they are at the player’s risk and may result in a ruling other than what they intended.

Players are required to remain at the table during all betting rounds and showdowns. Players who leave the table are not permitted to protect their hands, and are subject to penalties.

In heads-up play, the small blind acts first pre-flop and last on all other betting rounds. The button (which is typically a white plastic disk) is rotated clockwise among the players to indicate a nominal dealer.

Breaking and balancing of tables should be expeditious so that players do not miss blinds or otherwise delay the game. A staff member should change over chips to the new table during breaking or balancing.

Phones and other electronic devices are prohibited during play unless approved by the dealer or floor. Ring tones, music, images and videos are also not allowed.