Poker is a card game where each player places a bet, usually with a certain minimum amount of chips, into the pot. The game can be played with any number of players, but six or eight is usually a suitable number. A player wins the pot when his hand ranks highest or he makes a bet that no other player calls.
A poker hand is composed of at least five cards of the same suit. Those who do not have the highest possible hand may fold. Folding means placing all of your cards face down on the table and losing the bets you have placed so far. Folding usually occurs only with weak hands. However, some hands are strong, such as four of a kind.
The game of poker has a rich history. The game was first documented around 1829 when Joseph Cowell noted a game of poker with four players each betting on a hand with the highest value. In 1831, the game became popular, and R.F. Foster and Hoyle described a version of poker using a twenty-card deck. Soon after, a 52-card deck was introduced, allowing more players to participate.
In some poker games, players must make forced bets. For example, the player to the left of the dealer is the small blind, while the player two positions to his left is the big blind. Both players must make a bet before they can see the other cards.