The Official Poker Rules

The game of poker has many variants, but they all involve betting in the form of raising or calling. The best hand wins the pot according to the rules of the game being played. The game has a reputation for being based on chance, but there is significant skill involved in the game as well as proper physical condition and knowledge of position.

The standard 52-card pack is used for most games, and two packs of contrasting colors are often employed to speed the deal. A special token called a button indicates the nominal dealer and is rotated among players to establish action order at each table. Players may also agree to use a kitty, which is usually built up by “cutting” (taking one low-denomination chip from each pot that has more than one raise) and is used for paying for new decks of cards, drinks and food. When the game ends, any chips left in the kitty are divided equally among the players who remain in the game.

Player actions that violate poker etiquette can result in penalties, including forfeiture of chips and disqualification. These include: persistent delay of the game, unnecessarily touching a fellow player’s cards or chips, exposing a hand with action pending, showing a live hand to an adviser, spectator or another player, improper mucking in stud (not turning down all up cards and pushing them forward), excessive chatter, etc.