Official Poker is a game of chance with an element of skill. Players must make bets that will minimize their losses with bad hands, and maximize their winnings with good ones. When betting is involved, poker becomes a much more interesting game. This rulebook was written to help all players understand the rules of poker and how they work.
The first thing to understand about official poker is that there are many different ways to play the game. This is because the game can be played in either a cash or tournament format. In a tournament, you pay an entrance fee and start with chips that do not represent real money.
In the past, most games were dealt from one pack of cards, usually a standard 52-card deck with a few jokers. Now, however, most poker games are dealt from two packs of contrasting colors to speed up the deal. While the first pack of cards is being dealt, the second pack is shuffled and prepared for the next deal.
After the cards are dealt, the first of what may be several betting intervals takes place. At the end of each betting round, all the bets are collected into a central pot. The player with the best hand wins the pot.
Some poker games involve forced bets, such as the ante and the blind. A player who fails to make a forced bet at any time during a betting round is said to have “checked.” This means they want to remain in the hand but are not making any bets.