The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a game in which individuals compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by the players themselves (called the pot). The rules of poker are set by a written code and governed by a centralized authority, known as the floor. Players must abide by these rules in order to maintain the integrity of the game and protect the interests of all participants.

In a standard game, a deck of 52 cards is used. In the 2000s, Texas hold ’em rose in popularity to replace seven-card stud as the dominant game in casinos and on television. The game is played on a table with six or more seats, with one person acting as the dealer. Each player must place a bet before the deal begins.

The official betting terms are simple, unmistakable, time-honored declarations like bet, raise, call, fold, check, all-in, and pot (pot-limit only). Using regional or non-standard terms or gestures is at the player’s risk; they may result in a ruling other than what the player intended. Players should also be careful to avoid obscuring their identity by clothing or other accoutrements.

Outgoing dealers should inform incoming dealers of pertinent information, such as blind information, players on warning or penalties, and disruptive behavior. Incoming dealers should be informed of any existing infractions, as well. If a violation is not corrected immediately, it can become an ongoing issue and may lead to other violations. This is why it is important to make sure that the rules of poker are followed, especially during tournaments.