Official poker is a card game played with a standard 52-card pack, sometimes with two jokers. It is most famous for the variation Texas hold ’em, which gained widespread popularity in the 2000s due to exposure on television and in popular literature, displacing seven-card stud as the most common game at casinos in the United States. The popularity of poker also led to the creation of new tournaments and tour organizations, including the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the World Poker Tour (WPT).
The game combines skill and chance in which players place bets on their hands during betting intervals. Minimizing losses with poor hands and maximizing winnings with good ones is the basic strategy of the game. There are a number of ways to win a hand, but the most important factor is the strength of a player’s kicker.
Players may bet with either real currency or chips that represent money. Games that involve wagering actual cash on each hand are called “cash games.” The game is often regulated by gaming laws in jurisdictions where it is legal to do so.
When a hand is dealt, a dealer should always inform the players of the total amount in the pot. The dealer must also notify the floor of any existing blind information. In addition, players, dealers and the floor are entitled to a reasonable estimation of their opponents’ chip stacks. Visible and countable chip stacks greatly improve counting accuracy.