Official Poker

Official poker refers to the game of vying for money or chips in which players place their wagers based on their knowledge (or prediction) of what other players are holding and how they might behave. Although there is plenty of luck involved, skill plays a significant role as well. Players compete for a sum of money called the pot, and any player may win it by having the best poker hand. The first written mention of the game is in the 1845 edition of Hoyle’s Games by Henry F. Anners, and later references to ‘Poker or Bluff’ appear in the New York and Boston Hoyles of 1857.

All Poker games are played from a standard 52-card pack (some variants use multiple packs or add jokers). A standard poker deck has cards ranked from high to low: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. In some games suits can be used to break ties (e.g. clubs, diamonds, hearts), but this is not universal. In stud games, the higher-ranked card is usually exposed in the showdown to determine the winner of a hand.

Players are prohibited from discussing strategy with other players or spectators during the course of a hand. It is considered poor form to expose a folded hand with action pending, except when the cards are pushed forward face down (“helcoptered”) after the player has acted. Exceptions are made for situations where the action has been backed up and the player needs reasonable time to act.