Poker is a card game in which players attempt to form the best hand. The highest hand wins the pot. The hand can be a straight or a flush. The hand must include at least three cards of the same suit and two of the same rank. The kicker is the top ranking card in a hand.
Poker is played in private homes and casinos. The earliest known version was probably a 17th-century French game called poque. It was adapted by the French and German settlers in the New World. Today, poker is a popular activity in North America, the United Kingdom, and other countries.
Poker can be played with up to nine players, but it is most commonly played with six or eight. Generally, players place in a blind bet before being dealt their cards. The player to the left of the big blind is the first to act.
The poker game is typically played with black or red chips. There are a few variations of the game, but all have the same basic rules. Each round starts with the deal of cards, which is interrupted for a betting interval.
The pot is the aggregate of all the bets placed by all the players in a single deal. The pot may be won by the highest-ranking poker hand, or by making a bet that no one else calls.
Some games award the pot to the highest hand, but not all. Some games allow split pots, where one player wins a smaller portion of the pot while another player takes the remainder.