Generally, poker is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The game can be played with any number of players. A poker table must be large enough to accommodate the cards. Most poker games are played with eight or nine players.

Poker is a gambling game that has been played for centuries. The earliest known form was probably a 17th century French game called poque. A number of variants of poker have been introduced over the years. The popularity of the game has increased dramatically in recent years. Online poker has been a major contributor to the growth. Poker tournaments have attracted big audiences to cable and satellite distributors.

Most poker games require an ante. The amount of the ante varies from game to game. Generally, the ante is placed before the cards are dealt. The ante is then paid to the pot when a player raises. It is also called a blind bet.

During the American Civil War, stud poker was added. This was followed by community card poker and draw poker.

When playing poker, a player must consider factors such as frequency of action and odds. A player will usually choose actions based on these factors. For example, if a player is aggressive, he will use different hands. Also, a player must be able to read his opponents.

The goal of poker is to get the most chips from the other players. The highest hand wins the pot.