Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game in which players place wagers on the outcome of a hand. The game has many variants, each with its own rules. It can be played in a variety of formats, including tournaments and cash games (AKA ring games).

Each player receives two cards known as hole cards. These are dealt face down. Five community cards are then dealt in stages (the flop, the turn, and the river). Each player attempts to make a winning poker hand with their own cards and the community cards.

While it is very difficult to break official poker rules in live tournaments, it can happen. For example, in April 2017, poker pro Ali Imsirovic was caught peeking at Paul Phua’s hole cards during a streamed hand. While this is against poker rules, it is unlikely to be enforced unless there is definitive evidence that it happened.

In online poker, the situation is a bit different. The Poker Tournament Directors Association (PTDA) governs the rules of the game. This organization includes managers of major live and online poker rooms, circuits, and poker leagues. Jack Effel, WSOP tournament director and co-founder of the PTDA, sits on its board of directors.

There are also specific rules regarding betting and raising. Some games are pot limit, meaning that each player can raise by the size of the total pot. Others are fixed limit, meaning that only a certain amount can be raised each round.