The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game in which players compete for an amount of money (or chips that represent currency) contributed by the other players. In some games, this is called the pot. Players make bets based on their hand and on their predictions of how other players will act.

The rules of poker vary from game to game, but most have the same basic features: one player acts as dealer; each player is dealt two cards face down; and bets are made with chips that represent different values, i.e., a white chip is worth the minimum ante and a red chip is worth five whites. Most packs of poker cards contain two jokers which may be used as wild cards.

There are countless poker variants, and players can play it for pennies or thousands of dollars. It can be played socially among friends for fun, or professionally in casinos and tournaments. The game has a long history and has spread around the world.

There has been a recent movement to create a set of international poker rules that will avoid many of the disputes and misunderstandings that often occur in the game. The organization FIDPA, led by poker professional Marcel Luske, has developed a set of 81 rules that are freely downloadable from their website. While these are not universally accepted, they do provide a foundation for understanding the game and avoiding many of the common mistakes that can be made by amateur players.