Poker is a card game in which players compete to make the best hand. The player with the best five-card combination, called the hand, wins the pot. Some games award the pot to the lowest hand, while others consider flushes and straights.
Poker is a popular card game and has been played for centuries. It may have been introduced to French settlers in New Orleans by Persian sailors. It is often considered to have Renaissance ancestry, and the name is thought to descend from the French poque or the German pochen.
The earliest known forms of the game used twenty cards. A standard 52-card deck was introduced after 1875. A wild card was also added around that time.
Poker is often associated with the U.S. military, and it has spread to other countries. It is largely played with a standard 52-card deck, although jokers can be added.
The dealer, also called the button, is typically a white plastic disk. The player to the immediate right of the button is the player who shuffles the deck. The button is passed clockwise after each hand.
Before any betting round begins, all players must make a small pre-bet, also known as the ante. This gives the pot a value right away, and is used to determine whether to call or raise. The ante is also sometimes referred to as the blind.
The dealer then deals the cards. The cards are usually dealt face up, but some variations require them to be dealt face down. The cards are then discarded.