The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game where players compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by other players. The rules of the game are governed by the Tournament Directors Association (TDA) which is an international organization that oversees the rules of professional poker in live and online games. In addition, a number of informal rules exist. These include peeking at other players’ cards, crying about bad beats and making comments that may annoy other players. Although these moves are not technically against the rules they are considered bad etiquette and can hurt a player’s reputation.

In most casinos and home games players are expected to play using table stakes rules. These rules create a maximum buy-in limit for cash games and a minimum amount a player must contribute to the pot on every deal. Taking money or chips away from the table after winning a hand is not allowed. A common practice is to “hedge” a win by leaving the table and immediately buying back in for a smaller stake. This is known as ratholing and is not permitted in casinos.

Another rule is that the player who made the last aggressive action must show their cards first at a showdown. This is to avoid ego battles and prevent misunderstandings. In many cases, the dealer will make this decision. However, the onus is still on a player to speak up if they believe the dealer is violating poker rules.