The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a game of chance but it also requires a lot of skill and psychology to play well. The underlying skill is not to lose with weak hands and to maximize winnings with strong ones. This is why bluffing is one of the main components of the game.

Before the cards are even dealt, players must buy in for a specific amount of chips. Then, once the cards are dealt, each player must verbally state their action. This is important because once a player states that they are going to make a call, raise or fold, their actions are binding. Exceptions are when they knock on the table or are called out of turn.

Breaking poker rules is much harder to get away with in live poker than online, partly because of the fact that a dealer or floor manager can immediately make a judgment on the issue and enforce a ruling on it. However, it still does happen. Whether it is the dealer mucking your hand even though you have a monster on the flop or another player peeking at your cards (which was what Ali Imsirovic did to Paul Phua recently).

Ghosting is becoming a major problem in live tournament poker as people are using software like TeamViewer to access each other’s computers to get an advantage over their opponents. This can be a huge violation of tournament rules, especially in tournaments where the players are paying for their seats. It can also lead to them losing their stacks and being kicked out of the event if they are found doing it.