Poker is a card game in which players wager money or chips on the outcome of a hand. It can be played for fun for pennies or matchsticks, in a friend’s home, or in the world’s most famous casinos for thousands of dollars. While poker is a game of chance, it also requires great skill and the ability to read the other players at the table.
Poker rules are generally well established and widely used, but there is no single set of official rules. This rulebook attempts to collect the most widely used rules into a coherent whole, and it is published so that any person or cardroom may use it. Consequently, some of the rules in this book may be found elsewhere and, in that case, no credit is given to the original source.
The game is usually played with poker chips, which come in different colors and denominations. A white chip is worth a unit, or the minimum ante, and each color represents a certain value. For example, a blue chip might be worth five whites.
Most forms of poker require a forced bet before the cards are dealt, called an ante or blind. The player to the left of the dealer acts as the button and has the right to raise or fold before anyone else.
Most poker hands are composed of five cards, and the highest-ranking hand wins the pot. There are, however, several ways to win a hand, including by bluffing. This involves attempting to convince other players that you have a strong hand when you do not, in order to persuade them to fold before the showdown.