Official Poker

Official poker is a game of cards in which players place bets based on their hand and other factors. The game is regulated by the professional Tournament Directors Association, which sets rules and procedures for live and online poker games. The organization has representatives from 63 countries and manages the world’s largest poker tournaments. The TDA is led by a committee of players that includes WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel.

During each poker deal, one player is designated by the rules of the variant being played to make the first bet. The players to the left of that player must put forced bets (also known as an ante or blind bet) into the pot before the dealer shuffles and deals each player two cards, face down. These cards are called the hole cards.

After the initial deal, players can raise their bets, but only if they call or raise the bet made by the player to their right. In some variations, there are caps placed on raising. When players agree to this practice, the players must verbally state that they are willing to abide by the cap.

A kitty is created when players agree to contribute a small amount of low-denomination chips each time a player raises. These chips are used to pay for new decks of cards, drinks and food at the poker table. When the poker game ends, any chips remaining in the kitty are distributed equally among the players.