Poker is a family of card games, all of which are played by five or more players and involve betting. The game varies greatly in its rules and variations, and has been popular throughout the world. It is often regarded as a descendant of the French brelan and the Persian game as nas, and has been taught by Persian sailors to French settlers in New Orleans.
In the standard form of poker, a player must bet according to his hand’s rank. The amount of the bet is known as the ante. This is a contribution to the pot, which is an aggregate of all the bets made by all players in a single deal. A bet that the other players do not call is said to be a raise.
Another type of bet, a forced bet, is a bet that the other players must match. These bets are either ante or blind. Unlike an ante, a blind bet is a bet that is not placed directly into the pot.
Poker can be played with a single player, but it is most popular with a group of up to eight players. In most forms of poker, a pot is awarded to the highest ranking hand. However, a few variations do not consider straights or flushes, and the pot may be split between the highest and lowest hands.
Poker can be played in private homes or casinos. It is popular in many countries around the world, but it is particularly popular in North America. During the late 1990s, televised poker increased the popularity of the game. Online poker has also boosted its popularity.