The Official Poker Rules

As poker has become an international game with a large number of players traveling between different cardrooms, there has been a growing interest in building a consistent set of rules for poker tournaments worldwide. Spearheaded by Marcel Luske, the International Poker Federation (FIDPA) has created a set of 81 rules that, if adopted internationally, would eliminate most of the disputes and misunderstandings that arise during a game. The full set of FIDPA rules is freely available on their website.

Depending on the game, there may be one or more betting rounds, with each player having the choice to fold, call the amount of the highest raise before them or raise. Players may also replace cards in their hand. In the end, all bets are collected into a pot and the best hand wins.

The governing body for poker is the Poker Tournament Directors Association (TDA), which was established in 2001 and has over 2,500 members representing more than 63 countries. The TDA meets every two years to review the rules and put into place new reforms.

The official poker rules state that a player must have a “full buy-in” for the game they are playing, which means they must be all in at the start of each deal. This rule is not enforceable, but it serves to prevent the reversal of decisions made before the action has been completed, and it also helps ensure that all players have a fair chance of winning.