Poker is a card game where players bet real currency or chips that represent money. It has been a popular game for years, but saw an unprecedented surge in popularity at the beginning of the 21st century. This largely stemmed from television broadcasts of large live tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour, which made poker celebrities out of the game’s top players and helped to introduce poker to a much wider audience.

While the rules of poker vary slightly from one poker variation to another, there are some standard rules that all games must adhere to in order to be considered official poker. These rules include:

In most games, a deck of 52 cards is used. Two packs of contrasting colors are sometimes used in order to speed up the game. Each dealer deals himself or herself a full hand from the first pack, then assembles and shuffles the second, which is then passed to the next player for dealing.

A player may raise as many times as he or she wishes, as long as each raise is equal to or higher than the previous player’s bet. Verbally stating that you are going to take a certain action, such as raising, is binding, so if you say you are raising and don’t do it, you will be penalized.

Players can ask to see a called hand, even if it has been mucked. Abuse of this privilege, however, can result in the dealer denying the request.