Official Poker Rules

Poker is a card game played by two or more players and governed by a set of rules. Players are dealt a number of cards less than a full five-card hand and then bet in one round, with raising and re-raising allowed. The modern game has evolved from its ancestor, three-card brag.

The rules of poker are generally consistent across the world, although local variations do exist. These can increase the risk of misunderstandings and conflicts in tournaments where participants are unfamiliar with the local rules.

Several poker tournaments are officially sanctioned by the game’s governing body, the World Poker Association (WPA). These include the World Series of Poker (WSOP), World Poker Tour (WPT), and World Championship of Online Poker (WCOP). Several of these events award players with official world champion titles, but the prevailing belief is that the WSOP Main Event is the best tournament to determine a true world champion.

In most games, a player must be at his seat when the first card is dealt on the initial deal or be considered “out.” A player who has to leave his table may pay in a minimum amount, such as double the big blind, in order to receive a hand immediately. He may also wait until the big blind reaches his seat or else draw for the button.

Unlike today’s coverage of the WSOP, which includes hole cards being shown to television viewers by a pocket cam, ESPN broadcast the final table from the 1990s in hour-long programs that featured pre-taped interviews and player profiles. ESPN Classic currently airs many of these broadcasts, which did not feature the pocket cam and did not have live hole cards shown.