Poker is a card game played by individuals for an amount of money or chips contributed to the pot by the players. The rules of poker are managed by a professional tournament director organization, known as the Poker Tournament Directors Association (PTDA). A wide variety of poker games exist, but most share a common set of underlying principles and betting structures. The most popular form of poker is Texas hold ’em, which is also the main event at many major tournaments.

The PTDA has adopted standard poker terminology and etiquette, but a local club or group of players may adopt house rules to suit their own preferences. These should be documented and agreed upon before the game begins. Players should avoid using non-standard terms or gestures to communicate their actions, since these can lead to a ruling other than the one intended.

Cards are dealt face down to the players, who then compete for a prize pool called the pot. The pot is usually composed of the player’s contribution, plus the money bet by other players in that hand. A player who wins a hand is paid the winnings, which are then added to the pot for the next round of betting.

In a typical poker game, the players each buy in for a fixed number of chips. The chips are typically colored and have a specific value, with white being the lowest value chip and red being the highest value. The players may establish a fund, known as the kitty, in which they contribute low-denomination chips that are used to pay for new decks of cards and other supplies.