Official Poker

Official poker involves betting and vying for an amount of money or chips contributed by players to the game (called the pot). Individuals may bet either actual currency or chips that represent currency. The game is played with one or more cards each, and each player attempts to control the amount of money in play based on their hand and their predictions of what other players might do.

The term “poker” is used to describe any vying game that includes at least two of the following five card combinations:

In addition to these basic elements, most poker games feature other special rules and variations. For example, some include wild cards (often called jokers) that can take the rank and suit of any card in a hand; some allow the use of community cards; and others may have particular restrictions on how the cards are dealt, which hands win, etc.

While many of these special rules have been incorporated into the official poker laws, some have not. As a result, many poker players have their own sets of local rules that they follow, a practice that is encouraged by the game’s history. These local customs are not meant to be a substitute for the official poker laws, which should be used as the final arbiter in any disputes over the rules of the game. Nonetheless, it is important for all players to be familiar with the official poker laws so that they can understand and accept any changes that might be made in the future.