What Makes Poker, Poker

Poker isn't actually a particular card game, but a set of card games that have similar traits, like betting rules and, sometimes, hand rankings.

These games can be differentiated according to whether or not the high hand or the low hand wins the pot money, how the hands can be formed, betting limitations, how cards are dealt, and how many betting rounds in a game are allowed. Generally, most kinds of poker games start with a forced bet of some sort. After this initial forced bet, the action usually continues to the left.

Whoever goes next must match the previous bet that had been made, or they must fold. When a person folds; they usually do not invest in the hand that they have for that round. Aside from matching a previous bet, a person can also try and make a hand more challenging for other players by raising, or increasing the value of their wager. The cumulative bets that have been made in a round of poker are called a "pot."

In poker, a round is concluded when all of the players have folded, matched, or raised the previous bet. In any round in a game of poker, if there is only one person left who has not folded, this person can win the entire pot, and does not have to show their hand. Usually, poker games determine a final betting round, and if there is more than one player who has not yet folded, all of the remaining players must show their hands, and the pot is awarded to whoever has the winning hand. Whether the winning hand is a higher hand, a lower hand, or in certain games, people with the highest and lowest hands, depends on what kind of poker game is being played.

It is believed that the betting system that poker has is what separates it from other kinds of casino gambling games. Other than the first bet -which is normally a forced bet- the players in a game of poker voluntarily place their money in the pot, usually because they believe that the amount of money that they will have wagered will have positive expected value. When a person decides whether or not to make a bet, they take their chances of victory into their own hands. In this way, poker, regardless of what kind of poker it might be, is a game where skill, luck, and perceptiveness all play vital roles in whether or not a person wins.