Poker is a card game played with two players. A player begins the game by making a compulsory bet, called the ante, or by placing a blind bet. The dealer then cuts and shuffles the deck of cards and deals out cards to the players, one at a time. The cards may be dealt face-up or face-down. The first person to the left of the dealer’s button makes the first bet. This player makes a small blind, which is equal to half of his or her ante, and the second player takes the big blind. This action is repeated throughout the course of the game.
The aim of the game is to have the highest hand possible, or the best poker hand. If no one else folds, the winner wins the pot. The pot is the total amount of money that was bet during the course of the hand. If the remaining players are tied or no one has the highest hand, the pot is split equally among them.
Although there is no definitive evidence for the origins of the game, it is believed to have originated in ancient Persia. The first version of poker in Europe was most likely a game known as poque, which is where the word poker comes from. This game developed alongside other European games such as pochen and primero, and was brought to the New World by French settlers.