Official Poker Rules

Whether you play poker on a regular basis or are just beginning to dabble in the game, it’s important to understand a set of official poker rules. Having an understanding of the game’s etiquette will improve your experience at the table for you and others and might even lead to more wins!

Players begin each hand by ‘anteing’ (amount varies by game). Once everyone has acted, they are dealt two cards and betting begins. The highest hand wins the pot. Players must ‘call’ or ‘raise’ in order to continue betting.

There are a number of different variations of poker, but all games share certain features. Each player is dealt two cards, and there are five face-up community cards that may be used by each player to make their best possible poker hand. In addition to this, bluffing is a major component of the game.

A player should never reveal a card to another player even if it has been exposed by accident. In some cases, an accidental exposure can be considered a live card and can change the outcome of the hand. A player should only ask to see a mucked card after they are a legal part of the action.

A button indicates who has the dealer’s position and the person to his or her left must pay a small blind, or ‘post’, before any cards are dealt. The dealer then moves one spot clockwise after each hand is dealt. A standard 52-card pack is used in most games. Sometimes, however, two packs of contrasting colors are used to speed up the deal. The first dealer assembles the cards from the pack that he has dealt and then shuffles them before dealing the next pack.