The Official Poker Rules

Poker is an exciting game of chance, but it also requires a certain amount of skill to minimize losses with bad hands and maximize winnings with good ones. The main underlying skill is to evaluate each player’s hand and make the best decisions for the situation.

The rules of Poker vary from game to game, but the core principles are the same. Typically, five cards are dealt to each player and players attempt to form the highest possible hand from those cards. The best hand wins the pot.

A standard pack of 52 cards is used in most games; some variants use multiple packs and add jokers. Each card has a rank, from high to low, with Aces being the most valuable.

Each player must put in a contribution, called an ante, to the pot in order to be eligible for betting. Each subsequent player must then place in the pot the number of chips (representing money) that is equal to the previous player’s total contribution.

There are several betting intervals in each poker deal, and the last one ends with a showdown. A showdown is when each remaining player shows their hand and the best hand wins the pot.

Poker is played with poker chips, which are typically colored white or red. A white chip is worth a specific amount of money, and each other color represents a different amount of value. Some poker tournaments require a fixed amount of starting chips, but most cash games allow players to buy in for a range of amounts.