- Game control:
Poker is a card game, the most popular of a class of games called vying games, in which players with fully or partially concealed cards make wagers into a central pot, which is awarded to the player or players with the best combination of cards or to the player who makes an uncalled bet. Poker can also refer to video poker, a single-player game seen in casinos much like a slot machine, or to other games that use poker hand rankings. Poker is played in a multitude of variations, but most follow the same basic pattern of play. The right to deal each hand typically rotates among the players and is marked by a token called a 'dealer' button or buck. In a casino a house dealer handles the cards for each hand, but a button (typically a white plastic disk) is rotated clockwise among the players to indicate a nominal dealer to determine the order of betting. For each hand, one or more players are required to make forced bets to create an initial stake for which the players will contest. The dealer shuffles the cards, he cuts, and the appropriate number of cards are dealt to the players one at a time. Cards may be dealt either face-up or face-down, depending on the variant of poker being played. After the initial deal, the first of what may be several betting rounds begins. Between rounds, the players' hands develop in some way, often by being dealt additional cards or replacing cards previously dealt. At the end of each round, all bets are gathered into the central pot.