The game of poker is played amongst a number of players around a table, usually an oval or circular one. The game starts with a deal, with every player receiving a card from a shuffled deck. The player who receives the highest card is designated as the initial dealer. The deal is repeated until a winner is determined. If a tie occurs, the initial dealer must shuffle the deck and cut the cards to advance to the next step in the game.

The game of poker has been around for centuries. It is thought to have originated in ancient Persia, although a version of it first appeared in Europe in the 17th century. It was a modified version of the Spanish game primero and eventually evolved into the game we know today. The game eventually spread from Europe to other continents, including North America, where it was introduced.

Players may raise their stakes in theoretical poker, but the house rules usually limit the amount that can be raised after three or four raises. This is because the stakes tend to increase so much that raising more often could force many players to leave the game because they do not have the money to continue playing. As such, most historical poker house rules allow players to raise their stakes to the amount they raised previously.

Players can also establish a special fund, called a “kitty”, to keep playing. This kitty is built by cutting a low-denomination chip from pots with at least one raise. The kitty belongs to all players and is used to pay for new decks of cards and snacks. The remaining kitty chips are then divided up between players who remain in the game.