Poker is a family of card games in which players compete against each other by betting on the best hand. The earliest known form of the game used a deck of twenty cards, but today most games use a standard deck of 52 cards. In some countries, players use a shorter pack of cards. The deck configuration and number of cards are different in each game, as are the rules for the game. Each game will also have one or more rounds of betting.
The earliest known form of poker was played in Persia, but it is more likely that poker was first played in Europe. The game is believed to have originated from the 17th century French game poque, from which the English word poker is derived. The French version of the game developed alongside the German game pochen and the Spanish primero and eventually made its way to the New World, where it became popular with French settlers.
A player starts the game by placing a bet on the hole cards (his pocket cards) and the flop (the three cards that have been dealt face up in the center of the table). These are the community cards, or flop. The player must make a five-card hand using these cards.