Official Poker Rules

The game of poker is an incredibly popular social and professional casino card game. It is played by many people in private homes and in many poker rooms at casinos worldwide. Despite its reputation for luck, it is also a highly competitive and skill-based game, where players must use a variety of strategies to win.

Hand ranking and bluffing

In most standard stud games, the five cards dealt face up determine your hand’s ranking. Each card ranks from high to low based on mathematical calculations. The higher the rank, the better your hand. The lowest unmatched rank is the joker, used in ace-to-five lowball and in high draw poker (which ranks straights and flushes against you).

First betting round

In a stud game, action begins on the first betting round. The turn to bet always moves to the left, from player to player.

All players may check, but they must call or raise when their actual turn comes into play. The act of checking is called sandbagging, and it may be penalized.

When a player checks, the next person in the betting interval must call or raise their bet or drop their chips. This is the only way to ensure that all players in a pot have the opportunity to act.

Rules and decisions

The objective of official poker rules is to make the process of playing a poker tournament more consistent, fair, and transparent. They should also help decision-makers understand the proper ruling for every situation that might arise during a hand.