A poker game is a card game in which players wager chips (representing money) on the outcome of a hand. The game is played in a variety of ways, but the basic rules are the same across different variants of poker. Players seek the best five-card hand from their two hole cards and the community cards in three stages: a series of three cards dealt face up (“the flop”), an additional single card (“the turn”), and a final single card called “the river.” Players may call, raise, or fold.
Tournament poker is a type of poker in which players compete to win a prize pool based on their finishing place in the tournament. Each player begins the tournament with a fixed number of chips. After the tournament ends, the remaining prize pool is split among the players according to their placings. Only a small percentage of the total number of entrants receive any money from the tournament.
There are many variants of poker, but the most popular form is Texas hold’em, which became wildly popular in the 2000s due to exposure on television and the internet. It replaced seven-card stud as the most common game in casinos and poker tournaments in the United States.
The game is a social activity, and good etiquette is important. Bad behavior may result in penalty, including a loss of chips. This includes persistently acting out of turn, unnecessarily touching another person’s cards or chips, failing to maintain proper card and chip visibility and countability, revealing the contents of a hand while action is still pending, and excessive chatter. In addition, players must rebuy on the first riffle, push of the shuffler button, or dealer push; asking for deck changes before the start of a hand is not allowed. Rabbit hunting (revealing cards that would have come if the hand had not ended) is also not allowed.
Official betting terms are simple, unmistakable, time-honored declarations like bet, raise, call, fold, check, all-in, and pot (pot-limit only). Regional terms may also meet this standard. Using other terms or gestures is at the player’s risk and may lead to a ruling other than what the player intended.
In limit and no-limit play, the maximum amount of a bet is determined by a player’s position and the size of the blinds. A player must defend his or her right to act in the hand by speaking up before substantial action out of turn (Rule 36) occurs to his or her left.
A player on the clock has up to 25 seconds plus a five second countdown to act before the next bet is made; however, the clock may be stopped by TD in his or her judgment. If a player declares a bet without specifying an amount, it is ruled the highest reasonable amount less than or equal to the pot size before the bet. The TD may adjust the time permitted for players on the clock in order to fit the game and stop persistent delays.