Although its apocryphal history is difficult to prove, the word poker is thought to have originated from a game of misdirection and bluffing. In fact, the earliest recorded version of poker in European history is probably the 17th century French game of poque. Poque evolved into a new version of primero and eventually into the game we know today. The game later spread throughout North America, thanks to French settlers.
In poker, hands consist of five cards. The higher one is the winner of the hand. If two players have identical hands, the odds are in their favor. A tie is broken when one player has a pair of aces, while a straight flush is a higher hand. When there are several ties among identical hands, the highest unmatched card in the hands of the two players is the winner. The higher two cards in a straight flush and a three-of-a-kind hand break ties.
In most forms of poker, each player must place a compulsory bet at the beginning of the hand. This bet is called the ante. Players can also make a blind bet. The dealer then shuffles the deck and deals the cards to each player one at a time. The cards may be dealt face-up or face-down depending on the rules of the game. During a round of play, poker hands can develop and players can raise or fold their bet.