Poker is a card game that requires a great deal of skill to minimize losses with bad hands and maximize winnings with good ones. It has become an international card game with a large following in many countries. The rules of poker vary depending on the variant being played and the specific establishment running the game, such as a casino or online poker room.
Poker rules are typically governed by a written code of laws. The goal of these laws is to produce a clear and consistent ruling in any situation. While the specific language of these rules may not be able to cover every possible situation, it is intended to provide an adequate framework for resolving most poker-related disputes.
The rules of poker require players to contribute chips (representing money) into a pot before the cards are dealt. This is known as the ante. During each betting interval, one player, designated by the rules of the poker variant being played, has the privilege or obligation to place the first bet into the pot.
Usually, the person who has this right is marked with a token called the button or buck. This is turned clockwise around the table to indicate the dealer for each hand. The dealer will then deal each player a hand of cards. Some poker variants require a minimum number of cards and others allow players to discard them during the course of the hand. Often, the deck is stripped of jokers, which count as wild cards in certain combinations.