Official poker is a card game played between two or more players for an amount of money or chips contributed by each player (the pot). The cards are dealt randomly, and each player tries to minimize his losses with poor hands and maximize his winnings with good ones. The game requires considerable skill in placing bets based on a prediction of what your opponents may have and how they will play.

The rules of poker vary according to the game and the tournament type, but most of them have a common foundation. All participants must contribute an initial contribution, known as the ante, into the pot to begin the game. Each player then receives two cards, which can be combined with the community cards to form a poker hand.

During a betting interval, players can choose to place a bet by raising or calling the previous player’s bet. They can also pass on the action by checking, meaning that they are not contributing anything to the pot. During this time, the other players can also see both of the player’s hole cards.

Poker is a game of luck and strategy, but it has some specific rules that must be followed in order to avoid disputes. These rules are overseen by the International Poker Federation, a group of professional poker players who have compiled a set of 81 poker rules. These rules, which are freely available online, should avoid the majority of poker disputes in casinos and tournaments worldwide.