The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game played by two or more players and is primarily based on the betting between them. The game has a strong element of bluffing and a high degree of strategy. It can be played with any number of cards and in a variety of betting styles. This has led to the growth of poker as an international game. As it has become more popular, there is growing interest in establishing a set of rules for poker tournaments.

In a live game one player acts as dealer. This person passes a round disc (known as the dealer button) clockwise after every hand to indicate their position. They then collect the forced bets of a pre-determined amount from the players to their immediate right and left, unless they have already made a forced bet. Each active player then receives two cards face down, which are known as their hole cards.

A kitty is often established by the players by unanimous or majority agreement to pay for new decks of cards or food and drinks. Usually any chips in the kitty that are not claimed at the end of the game will be divided equally among the players who remain in the game.

In a casino, club or tournament environment a professional dealer will usually be employed. They will charge a small fee for their services or “rake” a percentage of each pot. This is a significant part of the overall income of the game.