Official Poker

Official poker refers to the rules of poker used in cardrooms. These rules must be clearly written so that a decision-maker will know what the proper ruling is in each situation.

Rules that are too vague will not be accepted by decision-makers. They will usually be ignored or ruled in a different manner.

A SUPERVISOR: Any cardroom employee qualified to make rulings, such as a floorperson, shift supervisor, or the cardroom manager.

Table stakes: The amount of money players have on the table at the start of a hand, and must be able to buy more chips between hands.

The dealer button rotates clockwise after each hand, changing the position of the dealer and blinds.

BLINDS: Forced bets by two players.

ANTE: A prescribed amount posted before the start of a hand by all players, used in some tournaments.

SHOWDOWN: The showing of cards to determine the pot-winner after all betting is completed.

POT: The amount of money in the pot, contributed by the players.

AGGRESSIVE ACTION: A bet or raise that could enable you to win a pot without a showdown.

CHECK: A check-raise is an agreement that waives your right to initiate the betting in a round, but retains your right to act when someone else makes a raise.

PROTECTING YOUR HAND: You must protect your hand from being destroyed by other players. This is a very important part of the game, and it can be done by using your hand, chips, or another object on top of your cards.