The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a game of skill that requires a keen eye, bucket of confidence, and the ability to read your opponent. It is also a game of etiquette. Violations of etiquette may result in a penalty or disqualification. Examples include: persistent delay of the game, touching another player’s person, cards or chips, talking on a phone, distracting others, not being at your seat, unnecessarily exposing your hand with action pending, inappropriate comments, excessive chatter, offensive hygiene, and revealing your cards to spectators.


A small contribution players are required to make before the cards are dealt. Antes give the pot a value right off the bat and help ensure that the winner of each hand will not lose all their chips.

Bets are made by verbal declaration and/or pushing out chips. Whenever possible, the clear and reasonable verbal declaration takes precedence over the chip play; however, the TD may rule on what played if the two are in conflict.

Countable Chips

All players, dealers and the floor are entitled to a reasonable estimation of their opponents’ chip stacks at all times (Rule 25). Visible and countable chip stacks greatly improve counting accuracy.

A side pot created when one or more players are all-in before the final betting round. A player is eligible to win a side pot only if they contributed to it with their own money. Otherwise, the player is only eligible to win the main pot. Also see the definition of pot.