Poker is a card game in which players attempt to make the best hand possible, often using a combination of cards, based on their own personal skill and that of their opponents. Poker is played by a wide variety of people, from a single individual to a multi-player table, and can be enjoyed in almost any setting. However, the most popular variations are considered to be three-card stud, five-card stud, and seven-card stud. All of these games are played with a set of cards that are either face up or face down, with the player who makes the best poker hand accumulating the pot.
Most versions of the game require a nominal dealer, typically a white plastic disk. The dealer has the last say in how the cards are distributed, and is the only player who can shuffle the cards after the deal. Once the cards are in, the players must show them to each other. Some variants allow for a player to shuffle their own hand.
A standard deck of 52 cards is used. After the deal, each player has the choice of betting or bluffing. In the former, players may make a speculative bet and try to outsmart the other players. If they are not successful, they can simply fold. On the other hand, the player who does not make a bet is said to be “standing pat”.
The highest ranked hand is the pair of aces. A pair of aces is also known as nilai sama, and is the best possible hand for a three-card stud, though it is not the lowest possible hand.
It is not uncommon to find more than one player in contention after the final round of betting. A typical rule is to restrict betting to no more than twice the limit in the last betting interval. Sometimes a split-pot version of the game is played, in which the winning hand is split between the two highest hands.
The name poker is thought to have derived from the French word poque. It is believed that settlers in New Orleans played a similar game, based on the Persian card game as nas. There is some debate over the origins of the name, but the name is generally regarded as a nod to the ancestry of the game.
The shortest version of the game is a game of three cards. Each player receives one card face up and one face down. This is usually the simplest version of the game, and resembles the modern day version.
A more complex variation of the game is called draw poker. Players are given a set number of face-down cards to complete their hand. These can be discarded, redrawn, or replaced with more cards from the top of the deck. While drawing is not a new feature of the game, it was introduced in the late 1800s.
Other forms of the game include community card poker and lowball poker. The latter is a variant that was introduced in the early 1900s.