The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a game of cards where players try to form the best possible five-card hand. There are many variations of this game, with a variety of betting structures. Almost all establishments use chips to represent dollar amounts during play, with different colors designating the different values of each denomination. The average poker chip set contains whites, reds, blues, and greens. Larger home games may have additional colors like black and yellow.

There are a number of other rules that must be followed to protect the integrity of the game. One of the most important is that players must always protect their own hand. This means placing their chips or another object on top of the cards to prevent unauthorized viewing. This can help in situations where a player has an advantage and may want to hide it from other players.

All establishments have different rules for their cash games and tournaments, but some basic principles are the same. For example, it is generally accepted that tournament chips are worth their exact value during the event, while cash game chips are only used in that particular poker room. Tournament chips usually have higher denominations than cash game chips, and often carry the name of the tournament host or venue.

The minimums and raise limits for a particular table are determined prior to the start of the game, no matter which version of poker rules are in use. Players are required to pay in the amount of money they have on their seat or face a penalty, such as having their turn skipped.