Poker is a family of card games that require players to use their hands to try to win. Poker is played worldwide and can be played with any number of players. The basic rules remain the same, but there are many variations.
In poker, each player is dealt a hand of five cards. These cards are ranked from Ace high to ace low. Ties are broken when two or more people have a hand with the same rank. The highest-ranking hand wins the pot.
Poker games vary in the amount of cards that are used, the order in which the cards are dealt, and the number of betting rounds. Most poker games are played with a standard deck of cards, usually 52 cards. Some variants of poker are played with more than one pack of cards and have wild cards.
Poker has been played for centuries. Early forms of the game were played with as many as 20 cards. During the American Civil War, stud poker was introduced. Today, the most common poker variant is seven-card stud, in which each player is given two extra cards.
There are hundreds of different types of poker, and a basic set of rules remains the same. Most versions of poker require a compulsory bet at the start of the hand. This bet is known as the ante.
Players can check, raise, or fold. Checking means they want to hold onto their hand, while raising indicates they want to bet their hand into the pot. If no other players call their bet, the pot is won.