The Official Poker Rules

In poker, individuals compete for an amount of chips contributed by all players (the pot). Players try to control the size of the pot based on their own hand and their prediction as to what their opponents may have. This element of bluffing makes poker fun and challenging for all players.

A game of poker requires a deck of cards with two jokers included in most packs. A player must have a minimum of one stack of chips, called a unit, to act in a betting round. Stacks must be visible and countable (Rule 25). The floor and dealers are entitled to a reasonable estimate of the number of opponents’ chips when it is their turn to act. A player may request a more precise estimate of his or her opponents’ chips only in the case of an all-in bet.

The rules of poker vary considerably, depending on the customs of a particular club or group. It is not unusual for a poker game to have house rules that reflect the players’ particular preferences or game strategy. These rules should be written and available to all players.

Some groups of poker players establish a special fund, often by consensus, to pay for things like new decks of cards and food and drinks. This fund, called a kitty, is built by “cutting” a low-denomination chip from each pot in which there has been more than one raise. The kitty is then shared equally among players who remain in the game when it ends.