Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world. It can be played socially for pennies or in a professional setting for thousands of dollars. While there is a lot of luck involved in the game, it also requires a high degree of skill. Players must adhere to a set of rules that are designed to ensure fair play and a level playing field.

There are a number of different rules that must be followed in order to participate in official poker. For example, players must sign in before each tournament. This includes both online and phone registrations. It is important for players to sign in clearly and accurately so that they are able to receive credit for their participation.

It is also important for players to protect their hands. This can be done by placing their hand or a chip on top of the cards. This helps to keep other players from peeking at the cards and can help to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes that may arise.

In addition, it is important for players to be courteous to their opponents. This is especially true in live settings where players will often spend a few hours with the same people. Being polite can go a long way toward building relationships that can improve the player’s overall experience. Players must also be aware that they cannot discuss their hand with other players or give advice. This is not only considered bad gamesmanship, but it can also give the opponent information that could be used against them.