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# 2. Poker

Poker is a set of multi-player card games (standard deck of 52 cards) that is typically played as a session consisting of a sequential series of multiple games (sometimes called deals or hands). Each player begins the session with a certain amount of chips (equated to money). Poker is a zero-sum game (one player's gain is another's loss) where the long-term goal is to net a positive amount of chips. This is accomplished by maximizing winnings in each individual game within the session.

There are numerous variants of poker. This chapter covers the basic structure that defines the majority of these variants, and describes the specific variant of Texas Hold'em.

A note on symbols:

• We use a standard deck of 52 cards (4 suits and 13 ranks per suit).
• For card ranks, we use the symbols 2 (Deuce), 3 (Trey), 4 (Four), 5 (Five), 6 (Six), 7 (Seven), 8 (Eight), 9 (Nine), T (Ten), J (Jack), Q (Queen), K (King), and A (Ace).
• For card suits, we use the symbols (Diamonds), (Clubs), (Hearts), and (Spades).
• A single card is represented by a pair of symbols, e.g. 2 (Deuce of Diamonds) and T (Ten of Clubs).
• A set of cards is represented by a list separated by dashes, e.g. 4-5-6 (Four, Five and Six of Clubs).

Next: 2.1 Playing a Game Up: Dealing with Imperfect Information Previous: 1. Introduction   Contents
Denis Papp
1998-11-30