Official poker is a card game played for real money, either in cash or with chips that represent currency. It is a game of skill that involves making judgment calls based on incomplete information and developing bluffing skills. It is also a social game in which players learn to read their opponents and develop a “poker face.”
The game has a number of rules that are designed to ensure fair play. One of the most important is that a player must verbally declare their intention to take an action, such as calling or raising a bet. This is binding and the player cannot back out of it once they have verbally declared their intention. If a player cannot make a decision quickly, they may announce “pass” or “check.”
During a betting interval, the person to the left of the button must post (pay) the small blind and the person to their immediate left must post the big blind. These forced bets help to keep the game interesting for all players by giving them something to chase. However, some players try to cheat by hiding their high-value chips or counting their chips and pretending they are going to call. These moves are considered poor etiquette and should be avoided.
Generally, the amount of money that a player receives in a tournament depends on how well they finish and the percentage of entrants that are paid. In some cases, only a fraction of the participants will be paid, while others will receive a significant sum.