Poker is a popular card game played throughout the world. It is the most widely played card game in the United States, where it originated.
Poker has been around since ancient times and is believed to have a wide variety of roots. Some historians believe that it resembles a domino-card game played by a 10th century Chinese emperor; others claim that it is a descendant of the Persian card game “As Nas.”
Players start the hand with two cards, one face up and one face down (the “hole cards”). Each player is dealt another card face down and may then trade any three of his hole cards for a new three from the deck.
When a player has a better poker hand than the cards in his opponent’s hand, he bets or raises; if he doesn’t have enough chips left to call, he folds. If his opponent doesn’t call, he wins the pot.
There are usually two or more betting intervals for each deal. During the first betting interval, the first player to make a bet must put in at least as much money as he or she has been raising; during any subsequent interval, a player may check (without betting).
The betting interval ends when the total bets have been equalized, and the players are in the showdown, where all the players who remain reveal their hands face up on the table. The player who has the highest-ranking poker hand wins the pot.