Official poker is a game of chance and skill in which players compete for an amount of money contributed by the players themselves (called the pot). The rules of this game are determined by a written code of rules, the final arbiter of any dispute. Although these laws do not cover all possible situations that may arise in the course of a poker game, they can avoid many disputes that might otherwise occur.
Poker is played in a variety of settings, from private homes to countless casinos around the world. It can be played for pennies or matchsticks or professionally for thousands of dollars. While there is plenty of luck involved in the game, the ability to read your opponents and adjust your own strategy to the situation at hand requires a great deal of skill.
In a poker game, one player acts as the dealer and all players put chips in the pot before cards are dealt. The two players to the left of the dealer must place a forced bet before they receive their cards, while the player in the button position is required to act first in every round of betting. When the betting is finished, each player shows their two cards, which are called their hole cards. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot.
A common practice is for players to place a chip or other object on top of their cards to protect them from unauthorized viewing. However, this should not be done in such a way that the object can be unintentionally read by other players.