Official poker is a card game played from a standard 52-card deck. It uses hand rankings to determine a winner and has many variants. The game can be played with wild cards, whose suit is specified by the player, and jokers are sometimes added to the deck.

The rules of official poker are time-honored and simple, but players must make their intentions clear by using the proper terms and gestures. This is important because using non-standard language can be interpreted differently by the dealer and may result in an unfair ruling.

During a round of betting, all players have the option to check, bet, call, fold or raise their chips. The first player to raise may do so by making an amount equal to or greater than what was previously bet in the same round. The next player must either call or raise the amount of the new bet.

If no raise is made, the betting round ends and a showdown takes place. The remaining players expose their hands and with the help of the dealer, a winning hand is determined.

The best five-card hand wins the pot. If a hand has more than seven cards at the showdown, it is considered dead.

There are many rules that a poker player must follow to ensure that the game is played properly and to avoid penalties. These include: