The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game of chance, in which players compete to win a sum of money or chips contributed by each player (called the pot). Unlike most casino games, Poker involves a significant element of bluffing. Those who can minimize losses with bad hands and maximize winnings with good ones are generally the most successful. The game can be played socially for pennies or matchsticks, or professionally for thousands of dollars.

There are many different forms of poker, and most use the same basic rules. The most common form of the game, Texas hold ’em, began in the twentieth century and became popular because it is easy to play with no more than two cards. It was also a staple of riverboats transporting goods up the Mississippi during the Civil War and in Wild West saloons.

In some poker variations, players are dealt a full hand of five cards, and then additional face-up community cards are dealt in stages: three cards (“the flop”), one more card (“the turn”), and the final card (“the river” or “fifth street”). Players attempt to make the best five-card poker hand using any combination of their own two hole cards and the community cards.

All forms of poker are played with cards, and most Poker games are held in a cardroom setting. Some of these games use a standard 52-card pack, while others may add one or two jokers to the deck. The governing body for the game is the Tournament Directors Association (TDA), and most of the rules in this rulebook are compatible with TDA standards. This set of rules is available without restriction or credit to anyone who wishes to use it in their own establishments.