The Rules of Official Poker

Poker is a card game in which players compete for money or chips contributed by the other players (the pot). The cards are dealt face down and outside the control of the players, and they must use them to try to create the best hand possible.

Generally, the player with the highest hand wins the pot. However, there are situations in which a hand may be defeated by a mistake or by other irregularities.

The rules of official poker are designed to maintain a fair and transparent environment for all players. In addition, these rules also ensure a safe and fun atmosphere for all participants.

Table stakes

A limit on the number of chips that each player can bet or raise during a round of betting. The limit varies depending on the stage of play. For example, in a draw poker game with five betting intervals, the limit is usually two; in stud poker it is usually ten.


In hold ’em, blinds are forced bets posted by players to the left of the dealer. These bets are usually equal to half of the big blind. They are rotated clockwise after each hand.

An ante, which is also a forced contribution by all players, is added to the blinds in tournament play. The ante amount periodically increases as the tournament progresses.

Protecting your hand

Players must keep their hands in full view above the table and not past the edge of the table. This is called protecting their hand, and it helps them avoid confusion among other players.