Although it is difficult to pinpoint the origins of poker, it is believed to have originated in Persia. However, the first version of poker in the western world was probably a game called poque, from which the word poker comes. This game evolved along with the German variant pochen and the Spanish game primero, and eventually made its way to the New World through French settlers.

The player on the left of the big blind is the first to act, and he or she may raise or check a bet. The dealer then discards one card from the top of the deck and deals the first three community cards face up. If no one else is left in the pot, the remaining player collects the pot.

Poker is played with a minimum of four players, with ideal numbers of six to eight. The game’s objective is to win the pot, which is the total of bets made by all players in a single round. A player can win the pot by making the highest-ranked hand or by making a bet which no other player calls. There are many variations of poker. One of the most common variants is seven-card stud, which is a modified version of the game.

Some poker variants have betting intervals. The first player is obligated or privileged to make the first bet. Each player must then place a certain number of chips in the pot, equal to the number of chips contributed by the player before him. When this happens, the player is considered to be an active player.