Often regarded as the oldest and most popular card game in the world, poker is a card game played between two to four players. The game is said to have originated in the United States. The name “poker” may have come from the slang word “poke” used by pickpockets.

The earliest known poker games are believed to have been played with a deck of twenty cards. In modern poker, the deck is usually a standard 52-card English deck. Depending on the rules of the game, the deck can be face-up, face-down or with hidden cards.

In a typical poker game, each player receives one card face-down. The highest hand wins the pot. The lowest possible hand is 7-5-4-3-2 in two or more suits. If two identical hands tie, they split the pot.

Each player has the right to check, call, raise, or fold. In most games, the first bettor has the obligation to make the first bet. However, in a few positions, a player must make a forced bet. These types of bets include the blind and ante.

The dealer shuffles the cards. Each player then gets to see his or her cards. Each player can discard up to three cards. A player can also take new cards from the top of the deck.

A player may also be required to contribute to the pot before the deal is made. In some poker variations, a player must make a forced call or raise before the cards are shuffled.