Today, over 100 million people play Poker, mostly online, and about 60 million are active players in the United States alone. As the world’s largest card game, poker is one of the most popular activities both offline and online. Its origins are apocryphal, but likely the 17th century French game poque. Poque was the precursor of poker, which evolved into pochen (German: “primero”). French settlers brought poker to the U.S., where the game quickly gained popularity.

The process begins with players placing forced bets. These may be ante or blind bets. The dealer then shuffles and cuts the cards. Then, each player receives a hand of cards, which may be face-up or face-down depending on the rules of the game. Between rounds, the players develop poker hands. A hand with three or more cards is a straight. Otherwise, the player with the highest hand is deemed the winner.

In a typical game of poker, each player has two cards and five cards on the table. After a given number of rounds, players reveal their hands. During a showdown, the player with the highest hand wins. This game of chance has many variants, but the four most common forms are draw poker, stud, and holdem. It is an increasingly popular card game in both North America and the U.K. Despite its many variations, the basic rules of poker remain the same: players have five cards in their hands and the best hand wins.

Among the many different variations of poker, the most popular is Texas Hold’em. In a two-person game, each player must contribute an ante before the hand is dealt. This adds value to the pot right away. In another game, players can choose to make separate games, called “house rules.”