Official Poker Rules

Official poker is a set of rules for poker games and tournaments that is created by the Tournament Directors Association, a group of managers of live- and online poker rooms, circuits, and poker leagues. The TDA’s rules are used worldwide in many large tournaments.

Rule 1 – The Player Must Protect Their Hand

One of the most important rules in poker is that players must protect their own hands. This means that they must not make any statement, or take any action that could unfairly influence the course of play, even if they are not involved in the pot.

Rule 2 – Card Exposure

Cards that are dealt out of the dealer’s hand, or are shown to other players, are considered exposed cards. In poker, the player must still play the exposed card.

Rule 3 – Exposed Cards are Dealt on a Situational Basis

There are some situations where it may be necessary to break certain rules of poker. In most cases, these irregularities are not common, but they can make a significant difference to the outcome of a hand.

For example, a player may be mucking their hand in an effort to get to a showdown sooner than they would otherwise. However, mucking a hand deliberately is bad gamesmanship and breaking poker rules.