Poker is a card game where players wager real money for hands of cards. Games that feature wagering actual currency are known as cash games and often take place in casinos, bars or private rooms. Poker has a long history and its roots are believed to reach back nearly 1,000 years, crossing several continents and cultures. It is thought that the modern game of poker evolved from a Chinese domino-card game and a Persian card game called As Nas.

While many people enjoy playing poker at home, there are also plenty of opportunities to play the game professionally in tournaments. To get started, you need high-quality equipment, including a good poker table. When choosing a poker table, be sure to compare sale vendors and unit prices to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

Another important rule of official poker is to protect your hand at all times. This includes putting your chips or other objects on top of your cards to keep them from being seen by other players. It’s also important to treat other players with respect, even if they make mistakes or act out of turn. Remember that they are new to the game and may be confused about the rules.

The final rule of official poker is that you can only raise your bet once it’s your turn to do so. However, this rule does not apply to heads-up play if the action has already been capped. It is important to be clear when stating your intentions at the table, and using standard betting terms is recommended. Players should avoid regional terms or gestures, as these may not be interpreted correctly and can lead to a ruling other than what the player intended.