Gameplay

In casual play, the right to deal a hand typically rotates among the players and is marked by a token called a dealer button (or buck). In a casino, a house dealer handles the cards for each hand, but the button (typically a white plastic disk) is rotated clockwise among the players to indicate a nominal dealer to determine the order of betting. The cards are dealt clockwise around the poker table, one at a time. One or more players are usually required to make forced bets, usually either an ante or a blind bet (sometimes both). The dealer shuffles the cards, the player on the chair to their right cuts, and the dealer deals the appropriate number of cards to the players one at a time, beginning with the player to their left. Cards may be dealt either face-up or face-down, depending on the variant of poker being played. After the initial deal, the first of what may be several betting rounds begins. Between rounds, the players' hands develop in some way, often by being dealt additional cards or replacing cards previously dealt. At the end of each round, all bets are gathered into the central pot. At any time during a betting round, if one player bets and no opponents choose to call (match) the bet and all opponents instead fold, the hand ends immediately, the bettor is awarded the pot, no cards are required to be shown, and the next hand begins. This is what makes bluffing possible. Bluffing is a primary feature of poker, one that distinguishes it from other vying games and from other games that make use of poker hand rankings. At the end of the last betting round, if more than one player remains, there i a showdown, in which the players reveal their previously hidden cards and evaluate their hands. The player with the best hand according to the poker variant being played wins the pot. A poker hand comprises five cards; in variants where a player has more than five cards, the best five cards play. Any casino with a poker room must hire a staff of dealers. Casinos generally pay dealers minimum wage. However, a dealer's primary source of income is not salary, but tips from players*. Tip income may be substantial for dealers who can deal hands quickly and efficiently, and are selected by the casino to deal in higher limit games. (*In some countries e.g. in Sweden, where all the casinos are owned by the state, Dealers and other casino personnel may not accept tips from players. This rule is complied with strictly.) To become employable by a casino, applicants without prior experience are typically required to complete a 4-6 week training program at a dealing school. Dealing in a casino may require working late hours and remaining seated for long periods of time. Dealers also commonly work holidays, since these are especially busy days for casinos. Having to deal with difficult individuals may be another drawback to dealing at a casino—some players are abusive to dealers. Major poker tournaments also hire dealers. For a given tournament stop, the tournament coordinator will hire dealers on contract for the duration of the tournament, which may be a few days to a few weeks. Room and board may or may not be provided by the tournament management; the dealer is typically responsible for his own travel expenses.