The Official Poker Rules

Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games. It is a game of chance, but it requires tremendous skill as well, especially in minimizing losses with poor hands and winning with good ones. Players can play the game for pennies or matchsticks in a bar, or professionally for thousands of dollars at casinos and tournaments worldwide.

Whether you are playing poker for fun or for real money, there are certain rules that you must follow to keep your games fair and legal. The most important of these is protecting your own cards. You can do this by placing chips or something else on top of your cards to prevent other players from seeing them.

You should also avoid talking about your hand or revealing its value to other players. This can give them an advantage by allowing them to make bets before you do. It is also a good idea to protect your cards from physical damage by covering them with your hand or some other object.

The game is played with a standard 52-card pack, sometimes with one or two jokers. Usually, a single dealer deals the cards to all the players. However, at many clubs and for the most experienced players, it is common practice to use two packs of contrasting colors to speed up dealing. The previous dealer assembles the cards from the pack he dealt, shuffles them and prepares them for the next deal while the new pack is being dealt to other players.