Poker is a family of card games in which players bet to see who has the best hand. Each variant has its own rules and deck configuration, but all share several common features.

Ante and Blinds

In most poker games, each player is required to place a forced bet, usually an ante, before the first cards are dealt. This amount is based on the stakes of the game and typically determines whether or not a player can participate in a round of betting.

Players are then dealt two cards face down and must either fold, call the ante, or raise their own bets to continue the betting. Afterwards, the dealer “burns” one card from the top of the deck and then deals three community cards (called the flop) to all of the remaining players.

Pot – A pile of chips in the middle of the table that players are competing for. Any time a player makes a bet, that money is added to the pot.

Qualification – In split-pot poker games, low hands must qualify before they are counted as legitimate low hands. Generally, this means holding five cards eight or lower.

Quads – A very common nickname for four of a kind in poker, despite being an unofficial name. It is also a very common starting hand in many different poker variants.

The game became more popular in the 21st century, largely due to the invention of online poker and broadcasts of live poker tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour. These broadcasts introduced poker to a large audience, and the invention of hole-card cameras turned the game into a spectator sport.