Poker

Poker is a *multi-player non-deterministic zero-sum game with
imperfect information*.
In game theory, a game is considered *strictly competitive*
if the players do not cooperate. A strictly competitive game
is a *zero-sum game* if the sum of the utility (outcome) obtained for
each of the players is zero, independent of the strategy followed by
each player. In poker, the profit of one player is the loss of other
players. The long-term goal of all the players is to leave the table with
more money than they had at the beginning.
A poker session is played in a sequential series of games^{2.1} with a standard deck of 52 cards.
Each card is identified by its suit and rank. There are four suits:
Clubs,
Diamonds,
Hearts and
Spades. The thirteen card ranks are (in increasing order of
importance): Deuce (2), Three (3), Four (4), Five (5), Six (6), Seven (7),
Eight (8), Nine (9), Ten (T), Jack (J), Queen (Q), King (K) and Ace (A).
In this thesis cards are represented by two characters, one for the rank and one
for the suit, *e.g.* A
(Ace of Diamonds) and Q
(Queen of Hearts). A set of cards
is represented by the cards separated by dashes,
*e.g.* K
-Q
.
A set of cards held by a
player can also be called a *hand*.