Official poker is played in cardrooms and casinos across the globe. It is a game of strategy and luck where players try to minimize losses with bad hands and maximize wins with good ones. The rules vary slightly from game to game, but there are some general principles that all players should know about before playing.

Before the cards are even dealt, some games require players to put an initial contribution, known as the ante, into the pot. Depending on the rules, this can range from a small amount of money to thousands of dollars. In addition to the ante, each player must also have a supply of chips that are used to represent different dollar amounts during betting intervals. The color and value of each chip is usually well-established and is consistent with the game being played. For example, a white chip is worth one or more minimum antes and bets; a red chip is typically worth 10, 20, or 25 whites; and a blue chip might be worth two, four, or five reds.

In addition to standard betting terms (bet, raise, call, fold, check, all-in, and pot), players should use standard gestures when facing action and refrain from revealing their cards to other players or spectators. Exposing a hand to someone is considered a violation of Rule 66.

It is important to remember that dealers are constantly under stress and may not always notice violations of poker rules. It is up to the players to watch for violations and make sure they speak up when necessary.