Official Poker Rules

With the explosion of poker’s popularity over the past decade or so, it has become more important than ever to have a consistent set of official rules that can be used worldwide. Unfortunately, many poker players from different parts of the world have to adapt to the rules of each game they play in, which can lead to confusion and even disputes.

When playing poker, individuals compete for a sum of money or chips contributed by other players (called the pot). This is done by betting into the center of the table with one’s own chips. The player with the best hand wins the pot.

The standard 52-card pack of playing cards is used, often with the addition of one or two jokers. Typically, a deck of cards is shuffled before each deal. During the deal, each player is dealt a card face down. Occasionally, a stripped deck of cards is used in which all the deuces (2s) and treys (3s) are removed. This speeds up the game by eliminating re-shuffling time and allows players to keep their cards longer as they make decisions.

In addition to the standard set of rules, some games have additional “house” rules that reflect local customs and preferences. For example, some poker clubs allow players to ante up an amount of money (typically in the form of a small token called a button) that is used to determine the order of betting. This practice can be very disruptive to other players and should be avoided when possible.