Official poker is a card game played for money with an established set of rules. There are many variations of the game, but the rules listed here are those commonly accepted by most players and tournament directors.

Each player starts with a certain amount of chips. These chips represent the player’s stake in the tournament. A player may increase their number of chips during play, but they must be a full buy-in for the specific game.

A player must have a valid reason for wanting to play a particular game, and they must be prepared to explain it to the tournament director. This is to prevent a player from using an excuse simply to avoid playing a particular game or playing for a lower amount of money.

Players must use standard, time-honored betting terms like “bet,” “raise,” “call,” and “fold.” Using regional or nonstandard words or gestures is at the player’s risk of creating confusion and causing a ruling other than what was intended (Rule 2).

A hand that is exposed to other players can be kept or rejected on a situational basis, as determined by the rules of the specific variation being played. Generally, exposed cards are not considered dead, except in stud poker where it is proper to muck the cards after the action has ended.

By unanimous agreement, the players may establish a fund called a kitty to pay for new decks of cards and food and drinks when needed. The kitty is built by each player cutting a low-denomination chip from every pot in which there has been more than one raise. Any money left in the kitty at the end of the game is divided equally among players who are still in the hand.