Official poker is a card game played by two or more players. A good poker player knows how to maximize winnings with good hands and minimize losses with poor ones. A good poker player must also understand the odds of each hand, and know how to bet intelligently. This requires an understanding of probability, which is based on mathematics.
Each player makes an initial contribution to the pot, called the ante, before cards are dealt. The rules of the specific poker game may require a fixed amount to be deposited. Once the deal begins, each player can bet on his or her own hand in turn. A player who does not wish to bet may “check.” The action moves clockwise around the table, and a player may only call or raise if it is their turn.
One player should be designated as the banker, who keeps a record of how many chips each player has and how much cash or credit has been paid for them. The banker should also be responsible for collecting the antes and blinds. Players should not make private transactions with each other for more chips. If a player needs more, he or she should obtain them from the banker only.
All poker games are played with chips, and there should be sufficient chips for all players to have at least 200. Usually, the white chip is the unit or lowest-valued chip, worth one or more minimum antes or bets; a red chip is worth five of the whites, and so on.