The Official Poker Rules

Unlike most gambling games poker isn’t just for fun, it’s a serious sport with a formalized set of rules. It is governed by the Tournament Directors Association (or TDA). The TDA is an organization of managers who run large live or online poker tournaments. These professionals come from all over the world and meet every two years to discuss the game and its rules.

In the simplest terms, players compete for a pot of money or chips contributed by each player themselves. Each player is dealt two cards, known as their hole cards, and then five community cards are dealt in three stages; a series of three cards (“the flop”), an additional single card (“the turn”) and a final card (“the river”). The players combine the seven cards from the community and their own two hole cards to form the best possible hand. The betting continues clockwise and each player has the option to check without betting, call the amount of the highest bet made before them or raise.

It’s important to remember that poker is a highly mental and emotional game. Playing when you’re not in a good mood or are feeling drained can have negative effects on your performance. If you’re feeling tired, frustrated or angry at the table it’s usually better to just quit the session.

Players must be attentive to their opponents at all times and are obligated to protect other players’ hands. It is considered poor gamesmanship to discuss discarded cards or hand possibilities with other players. If you’re caught doing this, your chips may be surrendered or you could be disqualified from the event.

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