Poker is a card game in which players bet into a central pot and compete for the highest-ranking hand. The game takes skills and luck to win, but the best players will always win in the long run.
The origins of the word “poker” are uncertain, but it is thought that the name comes from the underworld of thieves. It may have been derived from the French poque, which is similar to the Persian game as nas and the German pochen (‘to knock’).
There are many forms of poker, with each suitable to different numbers of players. In a standard deal, each player is dealt five cards face down. He can either call a bet, which is an equal amount of money made by each other player; raise a bet, which is more than the previous bet; or check, which is to stay in without betting.
Each round of betting is repeated in turn, and at the end of each round, all bets are gathered into the pot, which is awarded to the winner of that round. If one player bets, and no opponents match his bet, the player immediately wins the pot, no further cards are shown, and the next hand begins.
A player can also bluff by betting a smaller amount than the last bet, and if no opponents call the bet, the opponent folds and the hand ends. This can be used to steal the pot from a rival, as well as to make other opponents think that their hands are stronger than they really are.