The Rules of Official Poker

A game of cards that can be played socially for pennies or professionally for thousands of dollars, official poker is a world-wide sport. Although luck is certainly a major part of the game, it also requires a great deal of skill to be successful.

To maintain fair play, there are a number of rules that must be followed at every table. These are outlined in the Official Poker Rules of Procedure (or ROP).

The official poker rules are available in any casino or card room that follows them. These are generally posted in the card rooms and distributed to all players upon seating. In addition to the ROP, each game has its own set of rules and regulations. These vary according to the game and are determined by the card room owner, the TD, and the manager.

Before a game starts, the dealer will determine what the minimums and raise limits are for that particular game. Then, each player will be paid in the appropriate amount to begin play. This can be done by placing blinds or antes on the table, or it can be done in a different way.

When a player decides to check, call, or raise, that action is binding unless it is reconsidered during the current hand. This includes verbal actions, such as announcing that you are calling or raising. This rule is intended to prevent players from trying to make a move while someone else’s turn is up.

A player’s hands must be kept visible at all times. It is a good idea to put a coin or other object on top of your hand for protection. In addition, the cards must be visible when a player is checking to see if they have the best hand. If a player is not protecting their hand, the TD may penalize them.

When a player is out of turns, they must remain at the table and act when their turn comes up. Leaving the table is not compatible with protecting your hand and following the action, so it will result in a penalty.

It is important for players to keep their chips in countable stacks. This allows the dealers, floor people, and other players to easily see and estimate their chip counts. The TDA recommends clean vertical stacks of 20 of the same denomination chips each as a standard. Higher denomination chips should be placed in a clearly identifiable and marked stack. Discretionary color ups are at the discretion of the TD.

In games where the blinds and antes are raised, a player must pay in enough to cover at least the minimum bet to receive a hand. New players who arrive after a hand is in progress can choose to wait until the big blind reaches their seat or to pay a minimum bet to receive a hand immediately.

All players must remain at the table during betting rounds and showdown, unless they are all-in or have otherwise made a decision to fold. Creating a disturbance with arguing, shouting, or excessive noise is prohibited. Throwing, tearing, crumpling, or otherwise damaging property is also against the rules.