The Official Poker Rules
As poker has grown into a worldwide game, there has been interest in building a consistent set of rules to be used by players everywhere. This has led to the creation of a set of official poker rules that can be agreed upon by all parties to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts. These poker rules are used by the World Poker Federation (WFP) to govern all tournaments and games that use WFP rules. These rules are amended and clarified on a regular basis, so check back often for updates.
When playing poker, players must ante something (the amount varies by game and our games are typically a nickel) to be dealt cards. Once the betting is finished, the highest hand wins the pot. It is important for players to protect their hands by using their chips or a handshake on top of the cards, and by not showing them to other players. Players who do not protect their hands can be subject to disciplinary action.
It is also important to act within your turn in the hand. If you verbally state that you are going to take a certain action, such as checking, calling, or raising, this is binding and you will be held to this. The same is true of knocking on the table to signal your intention to make a bet or raise.
While it is common for players to whisper to their opponents about the strength of their hands in order to prevent cheating, this must be done without looking at other player’s cards. Unless the rules of a particular game indicate otherwise, it is never acceptable to peek at an opponent’s cards in any situation. It is not only considered bad gamesmanship, but it can be illegal as well.
The rules of poker vary widely by game, but the basic rules of poker are always the same. The game involves betting with chips, which are placed in a central pot called the “pot.” Players can either call or raise the bet, and the player with the best hand wins the pot.
Some games, such as stud and draw poker, require players to bet in order to see their cards. Other games, such as texas hold’em, allow players to bet in any order they choose, but only after all the other players have folded.
Generally speaking, ties are broken by suit in draw poker and high-low in stud. However, some games have specific rules for breaking ties.
Poker is a game of chance, but it requires a good deal of skill and psychology as well. This is especially true when betting begins, and it is therefore imperative that all players follow the rules and play fair. Otherwise, the game will quickly become unruly and unpleasant for everyone. Creating a disturbance by arguing or making excessive noise; throwing, tearing, or crumpling cards; and collusion between two or more players are all violations of poker rules and may result in suspension.