Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games, played in private homes, countless casinos, and on the Internet. It is a game of chance, but it requires considerable skill as well. It is sometimes regarded as the national card game of the United States, and its play and jargon permeate American culture. The rules of poker are complex and varied, and players wager money or chips that represent currency on the outcome of a hand.
There are a great many variations of the game, some of which are regarded as cheating. For example, it is considered bad form to try to read an opponent’s hole cards or count the number of chips in a player’s stack. Furthermore, it is not advisable to verbally reveal that you are planning to call. This gives away the strength of your holding and can cause you to lose your edge.
The first known reference to the game dates from 1830, although it had probably been developed in New Orleans between 1810 and 1825. It seems to have been derived from the earlier game of Poque, which had evolved in the gaming saloons of Mississippi steamers. In the late 19th century it was refined and renamed Poker, and in the 1920s high-low poker (in which the highest and lowest hands share the pot) appeared. In addition to the standard 53-card pack, the game also includes a joker (the bug) and deuces wild (2s).