Official Poker Rules

Whether you’re playing at your local card room, the World Series of Poker or an online poker site, it’s always best to be aware of the official rules. It’s easy to get hung up on the game’s many details and forget the important ones, but understanding official poker will help you play your best.

In a standard poker tournament, all players pay an entry fee or buy-in to start with a certain number of chips. After the first round of betting, the remaining players with hole cards expose their holdings to determine a winner. The player with the highest-ranking hole cards wins the pot based on poker hand rankings.

It is against the rules to act out of turn in a poker game. This includes a lack of attention, listening to music, using unnecessarily offensive language or touching another player’s card or chips. Other violations include poor card or chip visibility and countability, betting out of reach of the dealer and abusive conduct.

Occasionally, the tournament director will move players to keep the tables as balanced as possible. This is done to ensure that all players have a chance of winning and the blind levels remain as equal as possible. In the event that a player needs to be moved, it’s important that this is expeditious in order not to miss blinds or delay the game. The tournament director should also be careful not to overly disrupt the game by moving players before a scheduled break or a blind level change.