The Rules of Official Poker

Poker is a card game played by players in rounds of betting. It involves a great deal of luck, but also a substantial amount of skill and psychology. It is a game that can be played socially for pennies or matchsticks or professionally for thousands of dollars. Hundreds of variations of poker exist. Most of these variations are based on the same basic game, with one or more communal cards.

There are many rules and procedures that govern official poker, but a few fundamentals are common to all:

ACTION: An act in the game that conveys information about your hand, such as folding, calling, raising, or showing your cards. A player must declare any acted-on-in action before the next round of betting begins.

EXPOSED CARD: A downcard dealt to a player that is not mucked is considered an exposed card, and the procedure for dealing with it varies by poker form. It is generally the responsibility of the dealer to replace an exposed card in a player’s hand.

THE KITTY: Unless otherwise agreed by the players, a kitty (also known as a “pot”) is established by cutting one low-denomination chip from every pot in which there is more than one raise. The chips in the kitty belong to the players equally and are used for paying for new decks of cards, food, and drinks. Any player who leaves the game before it ends cannot take any of their share of the kitty with them.