The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game where players use the cards they have and those shared with others to make the best poker hand. The underlying principle is to win bets against other players in a showdown. The game can be played with a full hand, partial hand or without the hole cards (play the board).

In addition to betting in rounds, poker often has additional rules that can make or break a player’s chances of winning. These can include how much a player can raise, the number of times they can fold, the ability to play the board and whether or not bluffing is permitted.

Like other games and sports, poker has an organization that manages its rules. This is called the Tournament Directors Association (or TDA). Its members are managers of live and online poker rooms, circuits, poker leagues or independent tournaments. They meet every two years at the TDA Summit to review the rules of poker and put in place reforms.

The TDA is an invaluable resource for anyone who plays poker in any form. Its rules help to reduce the amount of disputes that can arise in a live or online poker game.

A rule that is important for all poker players to remember is that verbally stating their intentions, such as a call or raise, is binding. It is considered cheating to move before you have verbally stated your intention. It is also considered breaking the rules to “string” raise; this happens when you make one forward motion to call and then make another raised motion, but do not verbally indicate your intention to raise.