Poker is a card game that can be played by one or more players. It can be played socially for pennies or matchsticks or professionally for thousands of dollars. There is a great deal of luck involved, but it also requires a high degree of skill and strategy. The game has become an international phenomenon, and is played in virtually all countries where cards are played. There are hundreds of different versions of the game, but Texas hold ’em is probably the most popular.

Poker games are typically played with a standard deck of 52 cards, plus two jokers (which can take the place of any card). Each player must pay an initial “ante” to get dealt cards, and then bet into the middle during each hand. The highest hand wins the pot.

One player should be designated as the banker, who keeps track of the stock of chips. A player with surplus chips may return them to the banker for credit or cash, and a player who wants more chips must obtain them from the banker only. Players should not make private transactions or exchanges of chips, since this can give away information about the strength of their hands.

During the game, players should refrain from talking on the phone or using other devices that could disturb other players. Ring tones, music, video, and betting apps must all be kept to a minimum so as not to distract other players.