Official poker is a game of skill, strategy, and luck in which individuals compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by the players themselves (called the pot). The object of the game is to minimize losses with poor hands and maximize winnings with good ones. It is a card game based on mathematics and prediction of what other players may be holding, as well as the actions of those holding cards.
The rules of poker are generally accepted worldwide, although some cardrooms have their own unique versions. This rulebook is intended to be the most complete set of poker rules available, and it will remain freely copied by anyone wishing to use it. However, it is not a creditable source for individual rules that have been published elsewhere, since many of these were originally authored by private persons or cardrooms.
Players must remain attentive throughout a hand. Cell phones must not be used at the table, and ring tones should not be audible or disturb others. The use of betting apps and charts is not permitted, as these can delay the game or create a competitive advantage. Similarly, the use of cameras, videography and other devices at a poker table is not permitted. Clothing should not hide the player’s face or body and must be in accordance with house standards.
If a player wishes to continue the hand without making a bet, they may “check.” This is permissible provided no one before them in the same betting interval has made a bet. Otherwise, the player must bet or drop. In addition, a player must never touch another’s cards or chips, act out of turn, speak while another is acting, make offensive hygiene comments, or engage in any other soft play. Violations of these etiquette rules are subject to penalties in Rule 71.