The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game in which players try to make the best five-card hand from two hole cards and five community cards. The game is played in three stages: the flop, turn, and river.

The most common form of poker is Texas hold ’em (also known as “hold’em,” “texas hold’em,” or “poker”), in which each player is dealt two hole cards and five face-up community cards. The players then use these cards and their own two hole cards to construct their best five-card poker hand.

In each round of betting, players are allowed to raise and call, but may not fold. The round ends when everyone calls or folds, at which time a showdown occurs and the best poker hand wins the pot.

Rules govern the game and are managed by an organization called the Poker Tournament Directors Association or “Poker TDA”. They are responsible for standardizing the game’s rules and regulations for large live-poker rooms, circuits, leagues or independent tournaments.

Players should act in a timely manner to maintain a reasonable pace of the game. The TD may call the clock or approve a player’s request to add a timer (Rule 30).

TDs are authorized to delay a decision for a short period of time, if they believe the player’s actions will cause a significant delay in the game. TDs also can adjust the time allowed and take other steps to fit the game or stop persistent delays.