The Official Poker Rules

Poker is a game of skill, and winning it requires knowledge of the rules. These rules are designed to make sure the game is fair for all players. They also help reduce the amount of money lost by players who play weak hands. However, the rules do not completely prevent bluffing.

The game is usually played with chips that represent different values. The most common value is the white chip, which is worth a minimum of one unit. Red and blue chips are often used as well. The chips are usually distributed evenly between the players. By agreement, the players may establish a fund for buying new decks of cards or for food and drinks. This fund is called a “kitty,” and it belongs to all players equally.

Before the cards are dealt, the players must place an initial contribution into the pot, which is called the ante. The ante is not required by all rules, but it is considered polite to do so. This helps to make the game more enjoyable and makes the opponents feel valued.

When the player has folded their hand, it is important to avoid giving away information about its strength by not reacting in any way after the flop. In addition, players should not reveal their cards to other players or try to give advice after a bad beat. This is considered bad form and can cost the player a lot of money in the long run.