Poker is a game of chance that can be played socially for pennies or matchsticks, or professionally for thousands of dollars. It is a competitive sport where players are trying to beat each other’s hands, but it also requires a lot of skill to play well.
In official poker, rules are set by a professional organization called the Tournament Directors Association (TDA). Its members include managers of large live-poker rooms, circuits, poker leagues or independent tournaments.
The rules of official poker are written in the game’s rules book and distributed to players before each game. These rules are also published on the TDA website.
First, all players are dealt hole cards. They have the option of checking, betting, calling, folding or raising. This round of betting continues until everyone has either checked, folded or matched the bets made.
Second, the player to the left of the big blind can fold, call or raise the amount of the big blind before them. This is called a “button,” and it begins the betting round clockwise.
Third, the next player to the left of the button has the option of checking, calling or raising the amount of the small blind before them. This is called a ”blind.”
Fourth, the next player to the right of the button has the option of checking, folding or raising the amount of the small blind before him. This is called a ”dead blind.”
After the betting rounds, players are exposed to their hole cards one-by-one in a showdown. This is when a winning hand is determined according to the official poker hand rankings.