The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game of chance, but it’s also a game of psychology and strategy. It’s a lot of fun to play, whether it’s with friends in your own home for pennies or with the big money at famous casinos.

There are several different ways to play poker, but all of them involve a standard 52-card pack with two jokers added to make the decks bigger. A poker table requires at least four players. The cards can be dealt face down or up, and there are many betting rounds.

The game we now call poker has roots that reach back nearly 1,000 years, across continents and cultures. Its closest European antecedent is Poque, which was popular in the 17th century. The game was then brought to the United States, where it became a favorite on riverboats that plied the Mississippi. English-speaking settlers anglicized the name to poker and added key features that distinguish the game from its bluffing predecessors, including five cards to each player and a standard 52-card deck.

The game’s rules are standardized by the professional Tournament Directors Association, which was founded in 2001 and now has more than 2,500 members from 63 countries. The TDA recommends that players be allowed to call the clock on an opponent only after taking a reasonable amount of time and the dealer or floor manager has not intervened. This allows the player to avoid being a nuisance to other players.