Official poker is a card game that involves betting, and it requires a certain level of skill to win. There are several rules that should be followed to keep the game fair and fun for everyone. These rules are typically set by the poker room manager or “floor” (an experienced player who acts as a final arbiter in case of disputes). In addition to these standard rules, some clubs or groups may make their own house rules to suit their personal preferences.
The game is played with a deck of 52 cards, and some variant games have wild cards or other special cards. All hands must contain five cards, and the highest hand wins the pot. The cards are ranked from high to low: Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10; there are four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs) and no suit is more valuable than another.
Before the cards are dealt each player must put a contribution to the pot, which is called an ante. In some games this is required before the players can fold; in others it is possible to fold and then raise or call for the rest of the pot. The dealer must then deal each player two cards face down. These are known as the hole cards.
During the course of a poker hand, no player should reveal their hole cards in any way to the rest of the table. This is because it can give away the strength of a player’s holding, or lead to other players unintentionally miscalling the winner.