Official Poker Rules

Poker is a game of chance, but it also requires a lot of skill. Minimizing losses with poor hands and maximizing wins with good ones is the key to success. Watch videos of Phil Ivey on YouTube and you will see him take bad beats in stride. He doesn’t let a single bad beat destroy his confidence, which is why he is one of the world’s top players.

A standard deck of cards is used for the game, along with poker chips to represent a player’s bet amount. Each player is usually assigned a banker who keeps track of the chips and records how many are left to each player. One of the most important poker rules is that players cannot exchange or transfer their chips between themselves. A player who wants more chips must obtain them from the banker, either by returning a few of his/her own or paying cash for them.

The game begins with the players receiving two cards face down (the hole cards) and then five community cards are dealt in stages: three cards (“the flop”), an additional card (“the turn” or “fourth street”), and finally a final card (“the river” or “fifth street”). Each player seeks to make the best possible 5-card poker hand using both his/her own hole cards and the community cards.

As poker has become more and more of an international game, there has been growing interest in developing a set of official poker rules that would apply to games played around the globe. Spearheaded by Marcel Luske, the International Federation of Poker Players (FIDPA) has compiled a set of 81 poker rules that are freely downloadable on their website.