A card game with a long and complicated history, Poker is a fast-paced bluffing game of strategy. Each player places an amount of money into the betting pool before being dealt cards by the dealer. This is called an ante, blind or bring-in, depending on the rules of the specific game. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. Players may also bluff, by betting that they have a high-value hand even though it is unlikely, forcing other players to call or fold their bets.

Each player is given a certain number of turns to act during the course of a hand, based on where they are in the circle of players. They can check (pass on a bet), call (match the previous player’s raise) or fold their hand to forfeit the round. In addition, they can bet on a hand, by adding more chips to the pot.

Although there are many theories about the origin of poker, the most likely is that it developed in culturally French territory as a variant of the Spanish game primero. Its earliest European ancestor is probably the 17th-century French game poque, from which its English name derives. Articles on the history of poker often mention a wide variety of earlier vying games, but most do not have much bearing on the modern game.