Poker is a card game in which players wager on the outcome of a hand according to a specific set of rules. It is widely played in the United States, and its rules and jargon permeate American culture. A variety of different games may use the same basic set of rules, but each has its own specific nuances and a particular deck configuration.

In the most common game, each player receives two cards face down, called their hole cards, and five community cards are dealt in three stages—a series of three cards (“the flop”) followed by a single card (“the turn” or “fourth street”) and a final card (“the river” or “fifth street”). The players try to make the best possible five-card poker hand from these seven cards. Players may call (match) or raise a bet, and they may also bluff.

During the 2000s, Texas hold’em became one of the most popular forms of poker, thanks to its widespread exposure on television and online. This helped it eclipse more traditional games such as seven-card stud and become the game of choice at casinos in the United States.

The game is almost always played with chips, usually white, black, and red in value. Each player buys in for a pre-determined amount of chips. A dealer acts as the button and deals cards clockwise around the table, with the first player to the left of the button acting first by folding, calling, or raising a bet. The deck usually includes a joker, which counts as a wild card but cannot fill out a straight or flush.