Poker is one of the most popular games played in casinos and tournaments around the world. It’s a game that requires a combination of luck and skill to win. Players use two personal cards and five community cards to build the best poker hand. The winning hand pays the pot, unless otherwise specified in the rules of a particular variation.

Protecting your own hand is a critical part of official poker. You should never reveal your holding to other players, whether through unintentional actions or giving advice. Doing so can give away the strength of your holding or lead to bad decisions.

In most modern games, a standard 52-card pack is used. In some games, a second pack of contrasting colors is used to speed up the deal. The previous dealer assembles the cards from the pack he or she dealt, shuffles them, and prepares them for the next dealer. This is known as a stripped deck.

A player must be at his or her seat when action begins on the first deal, or that hand will be dead. This includes a player who is dealing a hand, reading a hand, or discussing strategy with another player or advisor during the course of play. It also prohibits showing a hand to, or discussing a hand with, an advisor or spectator while action is pending. Exposing cards with a pending hand should be done properly by pushing them forward low to the table, not exposing them or throwing them high (helicoptered).

Players and dealers are entitled to a reasonable estimation of chip counts. Chips should be kept in clean vertical stacks of the same denomination with a minimum of 20 chips per denomination. The TD may color up one or more players at their discretion, with an announcement.