Official Poker Rules

Official poker rules are created by a body called the Tournament Directors Association (TDA). It was founded in 2001 by poker players David Lamb, Matt Savage, and Linda Johnson. The organization now has more than 2,500 members in 63 countries, including the managers of large live poker rooms and circuits, as well as individuals who run independent tournaments. Jack Effel, the director of the World Series of Poker, is one of the TDA’s members.

In an official poker tournament, the tournament director or host has the right to decide whether or not a player is in the lead at any given time. The decision may be delayed due to an overhead videotape or the decision of a shift supervisor. In such a case, the house may impound the pot while the player awaits the results. In determining if a player is guilty of cheating, the director will take into consideration the intent of the player, his record, and experience.

As in live games, new players are not allowed to change seats after the hand begins. Each paid entrant is assigned starting chips by the director. If a player is absent, all of the available chips are placed in the pot for the blinds and antes.