Poker is a card game played by a group of players around a table. It requires the ability to read opponents, predict odds, and keep a cool demeanor while making big bluffs. While there are countless poker variants, most share certain essential elements.
Before the game begins an initial dealer must be chosen. Each player is dealt a card from a shuffled pack, and whoever receives the highest card becomes the first dealer. A tie is broken by a repeated deal until a jack appears. After the initial deal each player must bet in turn during a betting interval. A player who bets at least an established minimum is said to open, while a player who raises the bet of the previous bettor is said to raise. In some variants a player who does not raise may choose to check instead of betting.
In most forms of poker the object of the game is to win the pot, which is the total amount of all bets made in a single deal. A player can win the pot by having the best poker hand or by making a bet that other players do not call.
Players must also use chips to make their bets, which are typically in denominations of $100 or less. Chips are usually red, white, blue, or black in color and have assigned values, which the dealer assigns before the start of the game. The game is very fast-paced, and a player may choose to check, which means that they will pass on their turn and wait until the betting return to them again.