The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a game of skill as well as luck, but the game is best played within an established code of rules. While it is true that any club or group can make special house rules to suit their own preferences, these should always be written down and agreed upon before play begins. As the game of poker has become an international phenomenon, it is important that there is a consistent set of internationally accepted rules to prevent misunderstandings and disputes.

The official set of poker rules has been compiled by the FIDPA, the International Federation of Poker. These 81 poker rules, available for free on the FIDPA website, are designed to prevent miscommunication and conflict and help ensure that all players are treated fairly and with respect.

Although the specific rules vary from one casino or tournament to another, the general rules of poker are as follows:

Unless otherwise specified in the poker rulebook, all poker games are played with a standard 52-card pack, with one or two jokers added. In order to speed up the deal, many poker establishments utilize two packs of contrasting colors so that while one pack is being dealt the other can be shuffled and prepared for the next dealer. This helps to keep the pace of play moving and allows players to easily track their chip stacks.

A player’s verbal announcement of a particular action (such as calling the clock) is binding, and they must carry out that action if the other players agree. Players can also request to see a card that has been exposed by the dealer, though this privilege may be revoked if it is abused.