The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a game of chance, but it also requires a great deal of skill. Minimizing losses with poor hands and maximizing winnings with strong hands is an essential part of the strategy. In addition, Poker offers the excitement of bluffing. It can be played socially for pennies or matchsticks, or professionally for thousands of dollars.

The cards are dealt one at a time, with betting in intervals between each deal. During the betting intervals players may call or raise another player’s bet, or they may fold. Once all players have either matched the highest bet or folded, the betting interval ends. After the betting is finished, a showdown determines the winner of the pot, as players reveal their hands.

All players must keep their hands in full view of their opponents at all times. This is especially important in high denomination chips.

When a card is exposed, the procedure varies by poker form. In some games, the dealer burns the exposed card before dealing the next card. In others, an exposed card is immediately replaced in the deck.

It is customary for clubs and groups to make special rules, called house rules, to suit their particular preferences. These rules should be written down. However, there are a number of important common ground rules that should be observed in all games. One of the most important is that a player should never exchange his or her chips with other players, whether for cash or credit.