The Official Poker Rules

Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world. It is played in home games for pennies or in tournaments for thousands of dollars. The game requires a lot of luck, but it also demands a great deal of skill. Whether you play the game socially for fun or professionally to win money, knowing the rules of the game is critical to your success.

The standard 52-card pack is used in most games, with two jokers added for some purposes. A single dealer cuts the cards for each round of betting. Usually, the first player to be dealt places an initial contribution, called an “ante,” into the pot before the cards are dealt. Then, each player places one or more chips in the pot during each betting interval.

In some games, a banker keeps the stock of chips and records how many each player has been issued or paid for. Players may make no private transactions or exchanges of chips; a player with surplus chips should return them to the banker and receive credit or cash for them, and a player who wants more should obtain them only from the banker.

A player should keep his or her cards in full view at all times. A player should not touch another player’s cards, fold a hand, or look through the discards or deck stub. In addition, a player should not discuss the contents of a folded hand during a betting round.