Poker is a card game that involves betting between a small number of players. The player who has the best hand of five cards wins the pot, which consists of the money that all players put into the pot before they begin betting. During a betting round, each player has the option of calling (matching) the bet of the player before him or raising it. A player may also fold his or her cards if they have no good hand. Often, players will try to increase their chances of winning by bluffing.
A game of poker can be played with anywhere from two to 14 players, although it is most commonly played with six or seven. The game is usually played with chips that represent cash; each player exchanges their cash for the chip values prior to beginning the game. The game can be played for any amount of money, and some games have rules about how the pot is shared after the end of a session.
Poker has been influenced by the Spanish card game as nas, the Renaissance game of primero, and the English game brag (earlier brelan). It is widely believed that it developed into a form capable of bluffing by American Civil War soldiers. Its popularity increased during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. It is considered to be the national card game of the United States, and its play and jargon have become part of the culture in the country.