The Official Poker Rules

While the rules for poker vary in some countries, they are essentially the same in most. The professional Tournament Directors Association, or FIDPA, oversees poker rules in a number of countries. The organization was founded by poker players Matt Savage, Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher, and David Lamb in 2001. Today, there are more than 2,500 members from 63 different countries, and the association meets every two years to review the rules and make changes as needed. Poker TDA member Jack Effel sits on the organization’s board of directors.

Each poker variation has its own set of rules, but many of the same principles apply to all games. Learning these rules will make playing poker easier and more enjoyable. Here are a few common poker rules and their definitions:

Chips: To play poker, a player needs at least 50-75 chips. The standard chip set contains three hundred chips, and for a four-person tournament, you’ll need as many as four or five different colors. A thousand-piece set of poker chips will cost you about $150, so you’ll need to buy plenty of chips to last a long time. However, if you’re looking for an official poker chip set, Texas Poker Store has many different types to choose from.

Hand Rankings: Texas Hold’em is the most common form of poker. Before the popularity explosion of Texas Hold’em, five-card draw was the most popular. In a five-card draw game, each player receives five cards and may trade up to three of these for new ones. Five-card draw is similar to Texas Hold’em except that five community cards are dealt face up in the center of the table, rather than three rounds in a traditional game. The game is played to determine the “best” five-card poker hand.