Poker is played from a standard deck of 52 cards (some variant games use multiple packs and some add a few cards called jokers). The highest hand wins.
The first round of betting begins right after each player has been dealt two hole cards. Players can fold, call or raise the small blind or big blind. In “$1/$2” Texas hold’em, the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2.
Players may check their hand during a betting interval if no one else has made a bet or folded before them. This practice is called “sandbagging,” and is generally allowed unless it has been decided beforehand that it is not.
When all players have checked during a betting interval, the betting period is over and all players who remain in the pot are entitled to play the next hand. If a player checks a bet that was raised by another player, the player must call or raise it or drop it.
Rules regarding betting and bluffing are usually stated on a poster at the table, along with other important information such as the dealer’s button and blinds. It is the responsibility of each player to read and understand these signs and their meanings.
Rule 22: The dealer and players must follow house standards in all matters relating to playing and observing the game. These standards include clothing and accoutrements that do not continuously obscure player identity or become a distraction to the game.