The Official Poker Rules

Like many other sports and games, poker has a set of rules that are governed by a global organization. This organization is the professional Tournament Directors Association (or TDA). Founded in 2001 by Matt Savage, Linda Johnson and Jan Fisher with a focus on standardizing poker rules for tournament play, the TDA has grown to include managers of large live and online poker rooms, circuits or poker leagues from 63 countries. WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel sits on the TDA board of directors.

Unlike most other card games, poker players bet into a pot in the middle of the table. This pot is usually marked by a token called the dealer button. The button is rotated clockwise among the players to indicate a nominal dealer for each hand. The cards are then dealt clockwise around the table, one at a time. If the player has the highest hand after a round of betting, they win the pot.

If a player is not at their seat during the deal, they are considered to have a dead hand. This is because a player must be within reach of their chair to make any calls or raises on the turn they are in.

In addition, if a player has their card exposed to another player in any way (such as when the dealer accidentally exposes it to someone else), they must play that card. The exception to this is when the exposed card would violate the specific rules of a given variation.