Poker is a family of card games in which players compete to have the best hand. Several variants are available, some using more than one deck of cards, and some include jokers. The cards are ranked from Ace high to Ace low, and in the original version, each player is dealt five cards. The player with the highest five-card hand wins. Poker games vary in deck configuration and the number of cards in the game. Many include one or more rounds of betting.

The earliest recorded version of the game dates to 1829, when Joseph Cowell reported playing it on a riverboat. Four players used a deck of twenty cards, and the game quickly spread throughout the United States. Shortly after, a 52-card deck was introduced. The game has been characterized by bluffing and misdirection throughout history. There is no single game of poker that possesses these characteristics. Although no one knows where the word “Poker” originated, it is believed to have originated in Europe.

After the initial betting round, all players but one fold. When a player folds, he/she discards his hand and forfeits his/her rights in the pot. In this situation, different players may win the main pot and the side pots. The final hand is known as the showdown. The player with the best hand wins the pot. However, there are some important aspects of the game that should be understood before deciding whether or not to fold.