The Game

Poker is a card game in which players bet money into a central pot based on their hands. The object of the game is to earn the most money by winning the best hand (or a series of hands). There are many different poker variants, each with its own rules and variations.

Rules for Official Poker

Although a number of local customs may apply to the game, there are several important official poker rules that should be followed at all times. These include:

1. Verbally stating that you are going to take a specific action, such as a bet, raise, call or fold is binding and should never be altered.

2. A player must play their hand individually, without help from anyone else at the table.

3. Protecting Your Hand

One of the most important aspects of poker is protecting your own hand. This means not to reveal your hand to others, even if you think that you have the best hand. This can be done by placing your cards on a table or using a protective device, such as a hand protector.

4. Bluffing

Poker is a bluffing game, and the best hand does not always win the pot. The bluffing element of the game makes it popular and adds to its appeal.

5. The Dealer

A professional dealer is used in poker clubs, casinos and tournament play. In such environments, a round disc (known as the dealer button) is passed clockwise each hand to indicate the nominal dealer for betting purposes.