Poker is a family of card games that are played worldwide. Each variation uses different rules, card counts, and number of players. But there is a common thread in all poker games: players compete for a pot of money.
The winning hand is decided in a series of betting rounds. At the end of the final round, the best hand is revealed.
All players must show their cards. Depending on the game, the best hand may be a straight, flush, or five of a kind. In many variations, the best kickers can overshadow the better hands.
When a player wins, the pot is awarded to the winner. Some poker variants divide the pot between the highest and lowest hands.
To start the game, each player receives one card. Typically, a full 52-card English deck is used. The earliest known form of poker involves twenty cards.
Some variants of the game use shorter decks. One notable variant is three-card brag, which was popular in the U.K. during the American Revolution.
Other poker variants require players to wager in a single betting round. These variations have similar rules and betting options.
A standard poker game consists of a flop, draw, and two betting rounds. Each betting interval is interrupted by a deal. Players can check, bet, or raise, as indicated by their choice of action.
While a betting round is the simplest way to play a poker game, there are other ways to win. There are also poker variants that do not involve betting at all.