Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game in which individuals compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by the players themselves (called the pot). The best hand wins. The game has roots that go back nearly 1,000 years and has crossed many cultures. It was largely popularized in the United States after World War II, when Texas hold’em rose to prominence and became the game of choice for most professional tournaments.

When a player acts out of turn, they may be penalized by having their action voided. This is to prevent players from deliberately acting out of turn in an attempt to gain an advantage in the game.

Official betting terms are simple, unmistakable, and time-honored declarations like bet, raise, call, fold, all-in, and pot (pot limit only). Regional terms and gestures are at the player’s risk; players must make their intentions clear. Tapping the table with one’s hand or a chip is considered checking and binding.

A string bet or raise is breaking the rules of poker. It occurs when a player makes a forward motion to call and then backs up and makes a raise without any verbal indication that they are raising. This could cause the dealer to rule that they only called. Ghosting is heavily prohibited and can lead to a player forfeiting their stack in a tournament or being kicked out of the game completely. This is especially an issue for online poker where players can use software to connect to each other and play on their behalf.