The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a game that is played with cards and money. Players place bets into the pot, and the highest hand wins the pot. A standard pack of 52 cards is used, with some games adding one or two jokers as wild cards. In addition, a special deck of cards is often used in tournament play. This deck is shuffled before dealing, and it includes the special jokers.

While most games are played with a single dealer, some allow the player to designate which dealer will deal each round. In such a case, the dealer will decide the form of poker to be played and may specify the ante or wild card rules. The dealer also determines which player will act first in each betting round.

Generally, a player must ante (pay) the amount of the small blind and raise at least the big blind when betting opens. This ensures that everyone has a chance to call or raise and gives the players something to chase.

A player who announces that a card has been exposed must play that card, except in some cases. These exceptions are stated in the rules for each poker form.

Some players get so swept up in the moment that they become emotionally engaged, or “on tilt.” They start chasing their losses, jumping stakes, playing outside their bankroll and other foolish mistakes. Ultimately, this state of compromised decision making caused by negative emotions is the biggest reason why so many people fail at poker.