Official Poker Rules

Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world and has a variety of variations. While poker can be a game of chance, there is still skill involved in betting and psychologically reading the other players’ intentions.

Poker’s roots date back about 1,000 years, crossing multiple continents and cultures. The modern version of the game developed in the United States, where it became a staple of Wild West saloons and riverboats that carried goods up and down the Mississippi River.

Almost all poker games are played with poker chips, with each color representing a different value. The lowest-valued chip is white, followed by red and then blue chips. Each player buys in for a set number of chips at the start of each hand. One player acts as dealer, and the other players put an initial contribution into the pot before the cards are dealt (if there is no ante).

The dealer deals each player two cards face down, which are known as “hole” cards. While some people may peek at the cards, it is considered poor sportsmanship and against the rules. Players must protect their hole cards by placing a chip or other object on top of them to prevent others from seeing the cards.

As poker has become more international, there has been growing interest in creating a standard set of tournament and game rules that are accepted worldwide. The International Federation of Poker has developed a set of 81 official poker rules that are freely downloadable on their website. These rules will avoid the vast majority of disputes that can occur in casinos and poker tournaments.