The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game that has many variations and facets. The rules vary according to the variant played, but there are certain elements of the game that all players must agree on. There is also a great deal of skill involved in playing poker, particularly when betting is introduced into the game. A written code of rules is the best way to settle disputes and ensure that the games are fair for all. It is common for a group of players to adopt house rules that fit their preferences, but they should be made clear.

One person is designated as the banker, keeping track of how much each player has in chips. Stacks are separated by color value to make it easy for tournament players to identify their total. Normally, a white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue chip is worth 10 whites. Each player must buy in for a specific amount of chips. One should never exchange or trade his own chips with another, and a player with surplus chips must return them to the banker to receive credit or cash for them.

It is not the responsibility of the dealer to enforce the rules of the game. A dealer is under stress when dealing a hand and may not notice an infraction, especially if it happens quickly. If a player believes that a rule has been broken, it is his or her responsibility to bring it up to the table.