Poker is the name of a family of card games where players wager over which hand is best. Each game’s rules will specify the ways in which player rankings are established. The modern game of poker is usually played with a full deck of cards, although earlier versions were played with as few as 20 cards. All variations of the game involve one or more rounds of betting.
In most modern versions of Poker a game starts with a single playing making a blind (forced) bet. Other players will then place their bets based on how strong they believe their hands are compared to the other players in the game. This betting action takes place clockwise around the table where each player must either call (match) the previous high bet, or fold and therefore losing their bet placed bet for that round. A player who matches the previous bet can also opt to raise the stakes, increasing their bet. This cycle continues around the betting table until all players have either called the previous bet or folded, and exited the current round of betting. If more than one player remains in the game after the final round of betting the hands are revealed and the player with the winning hand takes the pot – this is called the showdown.
With the single exception of the first “blind bet” players will only place their money (their bet) into the pot voluntarily if the think that their hand is positive, or they may continue with a bad hand as a “bluff” – which has various strategic purposes. The game of Poker therefore involves a significant amount of chance and players can determine their actions based on probability, psychology and strategic game theory and tactics.