Official poker is a card game in which players compete to win an amount of money (called the pot) contributed by each player. The cards are dealt randomly and outside the control of the players, so the skills required for the game include minimizing losses with poor hands while maximizing winnings with good ones.
When a hand has been revealed, the remaining players expose their hole cards and the dealer determines a winner. The highest ranked hand wins the pot, unless there is a tie. Ties are broken according to the rules of the particular variation of poker being played.
In most games, a standard 52-card pack is used with one or two jokers. Occasionally, two packs of contrasting colors are used to speed up the deal. While the first dealer deals a hand, the second shuffles and prepares the cards for dealing. The shuffled deck is then passed to the next dealer.
Players should always be respectful of others, even if they disagree with the decisions made by the dealers. They should never talk during the deal, shout, or use inappropriate language. They should also refrain from giving advice or making comments during the hand. In addition, they should not reveal their strength of holdings to other players after folding a hand.
New players joining a table may either wait for the big blind to reach them or pay a minimum bet to be dealt a hand immediately. In some games, players can only raise a maximum number of times per betting interval.