Official poker is a card game in which players compete against each other in betting rounds and try to make the best five-card hand. There is a large element of luck in poker, but the game also involves considerable skill and psychology. The game is usually played with a standard 52-card pack and sometimes contains one or two jokers. There are four suits – spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs – but only one suit is higher than the others (aces). The rules of the game may vary among different games and may include additional special cards or wild cards.
The cards are shuffled and cut by the player on the chair to the dealer’s right, then dealt face-down or face-up according to the specific game being played. Some games require players to post a forced bet before being dealt any cards; these are called blinds. The first player to act, the button, must pay a small blind and the player to his left must pay a big blind. These are called “blind bets” because the players must place them regardless of their actual position at the table.
Chip values are used to keep track of stack sizes and the number of chips in play during a poker game or tournament. Most tournaments use chips of different colors to identify the value of each chip. Although these values don’t correspond to actual dollar amounts, they are necessary to keep track of poker chip counts and to ensure that players receive the correct amount of chips.