The Official Poker Rules

A card game that requires some amount of skill and psychology to play successfully. In its simplest form, the rules of poker are as follows: players ante (a sum of money – varies by game) to be dealt cards; then they place bets into a pot in the middle, with the highest hand winning. Some games also require an initial contribution to the pot, called a “down”; this is usually a nickel or some other small denomination chip.

When the betting period for a hand is complete, all players expose their hole cards and a winner is determined according to the official poker hand rankings. The game of poker has a long and varied history, from a 16th century German bluffing game to today’s worldwide popularity.

A game can be played with as few as two players, and as many as eight. The number of players determines how much of the pot each player can bet on a given hand, as well as the overall speed of the game.

Generally, a table is best with six or more players, although five- and four-player tables are also common. The game may be slowed down with fewer players, however, as it takes longer for everyone to act and the bets to build up.

It is important for players and dealers to be able to quickly estimate the total value of a pot, particularly in pot limit games. This is why chips should be kept in clearly countable stacks. Stacks should be clean, vertical, and not more than 20 same-denomination chips each. The TD or floor person may color up stacks at their discretion.