Poker is a family of card games in which players bet on the value of the cards in their hand. In most cases, the game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, although there are some variations in terms of the number of cards in the deck and the rules of the game. The game is played in poker clubs and casinos, in private homes, and on the Internet. It has been called the national card game of the United States, and is pervasive throughout American culture.

Many different versions of poker have emerged throughout history. There are rumors that the game originated in Persia, but the first version in Europe was probably the 17th century French game poque. This game was eventually influenced by German pochen, as well as by the Spanish game primero. It then made its way to the New World through French settlers.

There are also several variations of poker in which betting intervals are set. The first player to bet is referred to as the “bet starter” and must place at least as many chips into the pot as the previous player contributed. Players then move around in a circle, raising and folding their chips in response to each other.

While the rules of poker vary by casino, many basic principles are the same. Before a hand can be dealt, players must post mandatory bets called “antes” and “blinds.” Each player receives two starting cards and two community cards. These cards are placed in a ring with a number, and players are forced to bet either the big or small blind.