Poker is a card game where players compete against one another to create the best hand out of a set of cards. It is played with chips, a standard 52-card pack, and a variety of betting structures.

Typically, each player “buys in” by purchasing a certain number of chips. The amount of chips per player can vary, depending on the game being played and how many players are participating.

The chip values used in tournaments are different from those in cash games. While they don’t correspond to real-life dollar amounts, they must be distinct and easily distinguishable by dealers and tournament staff.

Each tournament stack should contain a minimum of 400 chips, but they are usually much larger. The main reason for this is to make sure there are enough chips to support all potential players.

In addition, it helps players know exactly how much money they have in their stacks at any given time. Often, the value of the chips is pre-prefaced by a number corresponding to the blind structure (for example, T$100 for each of eight whites or T$500 for each of five reds).

Colored poker chips are also common in home games. They allow hosts to quickly calculate stack sizes and assign appropriate values to individual chips.

There are several colors of poker chips, with whites being the lowest-valued and reds being the highest. The color of each chip is important because it allows dealers and tournament staff to do color-ups, which are necessary for tracking stack sizes and distributing chips.

Most venues differentiate the color of their gaming chips for cash games and tournaments. While the poker chips in cash games are worth their exact value, tournaments often have a higher value for the same size chip.

A chip’s color is very important, because it makes it easier for dealers and tournament staff to color-up stacks and determine who has the best hand. It’s also important to have a separate supply of lower-valued chips for those who bust out early in the tournament.

Unlike other gambling games, such as blackjack or roulette, poker does not allow players to take chips from the casino cage and exchange them for real money. This is a violation of the rules and could lead to a ban from the establishment.

The chips are generally divided into tens, with each ten being worth a specific amount of cash. This system prevents players from mixing cash and tournament chips and ensures that the proper amount of cash is kept in each stack at all times.

Some casinos have a special fund called the “kitty.” This is a collection of low-denomination chips that are collected by all players. This is a pool that is used to pay for new decks of cards and to cover the cost of food and beverages.

During a game, a dealer deals one card to each player. The cards are then turned and placed face-up for the opponents to see. If two or more players have the same cards, a side card (called a kicker) comes into play to determine who wins the pot.