The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game that can be played by two or more players, with the highest hand winning. It can be played socially for pennies or matchsticks, and professionally for thousands of dollars. There is plenty of luck involved in the game, but there is also a great deal of skill and psychology.

Most games of poker are based on the standard 52-card pack, although some use multiple packs or add jokers. The cards are ranked from high to low: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2. There are four suits: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. Some games have wild cards (dueces or one-eyed jacks).

In some poker games, the players will establish a special fund called a “kitty,” into which they contribute money when they call a raise. This money is used to pay for new decks of cards and other game necessities. If a player leaves the game before it is over, they are not entitled to take any chips that comprised part of the kitty.

It is traditional for a club or group of players to make a set of rules for their own games, called “house rules.” These rules may differ from the official poker rules. However, it is important that the house rules are consistent and that they be written down. This is to protect the integrity of the game and to ensure that decisions are made in a consistent manner.