The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game played between two or more players and for an amount of money or chips contributed by all active players (the pot). Individuals compete to control the size of the pot by betting on the strength of their cards and their prediction as to what other players at the table may be holding. There are a variety of different poker variants, each with its own set of rules.

The game can be played socially for pennies or matchsticks, or professionally in casinos and high-end clubs for thousands of dollars. The basic rules of Poker are straightforward: a standard pack of 52 cards (with some games adding jokers) is dealt to each player, and the highest hand wins. Each game also has a specific order of betting, which is determined by a token called a button (usually a round disc of white plastic) passed clockwise around the table to indicate the nominal dealer for each betting interval.

It is not uncommon for a dealer to break poker rules in the heat of the moment, but it is on the players to speak up and call the floor if they notice something that goes against the rules. Then the floor can make a final judgment on whether or not the rule has been broken. As Poker has become a global phenomenon, there is increasing interest in creating an internationally accepted set of rules. The FIDPA, which stands for International Federation of Poker, is an organization that aims to avoid many of the misunderstandings and disputes that can arise between players and dealers.