With countless variations and a multitude of rules, poker is an extremely diverse game. However, there are certain things that seem to apply across the board – these are what unify poker into a single game.
In most games of poker, the standard 52-card deck is used. It includes an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, and Two in each of the four suits (clubs, spades, diamonds, and hearts). Some games add one or two jokers. Some games also use non-traditional decks such as the French piquet deck.
Players who wish to participate in a pot must make an action by either calling, raising, or dropping. A player who calls or raises must place all of their playable chips into the pot during a betting interval. This is referred to as being all-in.
Some games allow a player to check if no player has raised before them in the same betting interval. The player may still be required to call a raise if they choose.
By mutual agreement, some games have a special fund called the kitty that is built up through “cutting.” The kitty belongs to all players equally and can be used to pay for new cards or food and drinks. One player should be designated as the banker who keeps track of the stock and records how many chips each player has been given or in some cases lent from the kitty.