Official Poker Rules

Official poker is a game of poker with rules that are overseen by a professional organization called the Tournament Directors Association, or TDA. This organization is made up of managers of large live- and online poker rooms, circuits, poker leagues or independent tournaments who meet every two years at a “Poker TDA Summit” to review the rules and put in place new reforms.

The official poker rules are the same as the ones in most casinos, but some changes have been made over time to accommodate the popularity of the game and to encourage competition. These include the use of two packs instead of one and the use of contrasting colors for the cards, which are typically colored black and white.

Players may not talk on a phone while playing the game or use ring tones, music, images, video or other tools that may distract others from the action. Betting apps and charts are also prohibited.

Rule 71: Etiquette Violations

Poker is an individual game and requires etiquette, which is enforced through penalties. These penalties can include soft play, chip forfeiture and/or disqualification.

Proper mucking: In stud, players should turn down all up cards and push them forward face down. If a player picks up the upcards while facing action, his or her hand is dead (Rule 66).

Similarly, it is against a player’s best interests to reveal a hand to an advisor or spectator. This is also known as ghosting and is heavily against poker rules. It is not the only form of cheating in poker, but it is a problem.