The game of poker, like many other games and sports, has a number of rules that must be followed to ensure the safety and fairness of the game for all players. Having a good understanding of poker etiquette and unwritten rules will help improve the game for everyone at your table and even increase your winnings!
The simplest way to determine whether a poker game is official is by looking at the cards that are being used. The best poker playing cards are made from plastic, typically a polymeric or cellulose acetate material. These materials make the cards much more durable than paper or celluloid, and they are resistant to bending or tear. The cards also tend to be more shuffled, which makes them easier to mark and read than cards that are not made from these durable materials.
Poker rules also require a minimum of two jokers, which are often used as wild cards to help form more complex poker hands. While some poker players use one or both jokers, others prefer to limit their usage to situations where the wild card can significantly improve their chances of winning a hand.
Players must bet in a manner that is clear and unambiguous. Verbally declaring that they are going to bet or call is binding; using non-standard terms or gestures can result in a ruling different from what the player intended.
A player is entitled to a reasonable estimation of an opponent’s chip stack when it is their turn to act, and the floor or dealer may be asked to count (Rule 25). Visible, countable chip stacks greatly improve counting accuracy.