The Official Poker Rules

The game of poker is played by millions of people around the world — from amateurs playing at home for pennies to professional players in high-profile tournaments. It’s a game of luck and skill. But it has a specific set of official rules.

There are a lot of different games of poker, and they vary slightly from one to the next. But a few core principles are common to all poker. For example, you must always play the game in good faith. This means not acting in a way that could give away the strength of your hand or trying to help other players out. This kind of behavior is considered unsportsmanlike and disrespectful to other players.

It’s also important to pay attention to what others are doing at the table. This can be tricky, especially if you’re playing with someone who’s listening to music or otherwise distracted. If you can avoid acting out of turn, you’ll make the game more enjoyable for everyone and speed up the action.

Before the cards are dealt, a player must put in an initial amount of money into the pot, called the “ante.” Then the dealer deals each player two cards face down (or a single card in some games). This is called the hole card.

Once the hole cards are revealed, betting starts. Each player has the choice to fold, call (match the amount of the big blind), or raise. The highest hand wins the pot.