Poker is a popular gambling game that is played in a variety of variants. Most games require a round table, chairs, and poker chips. The objective of the game is to obtain a pot of money from your opponents by betting your cards.

The earliest known version of the game is a seventeenth-century French game called poque, which was later adapted by the U.S. military during World War II. Another version, stud, was introduced during the American Civil War. Several later variations include community card poker, lowball and split-pot poker.

Optimal poker play involves a bit of luck, a little patience and a little math. In order to do this, you must understand the game’s rules and read your opponents. For instance, you should only make a bet if your best hand wins.

Some games, such as stud, require players to put the same number of chips into the pot, while others require a different amount. For instance, a fixed-limit game requires players to limit their bets to a fixed amount.

Although the highest and lowest valued chips are typically blue and red, there are several colors of choice. A dark chip is worth two, four or five reds, while a light chip is ten or twenty whites.

One of the better ways to play poker is to find a live game. Alternatively, you can check out the various versions of the game online.

Ideally, you’ll want to be part of a game of at least six or eight players. That said, there’s no reason why you can’t play alone.