The Official Poker Rules

There’s plenty of luck in poker, but the game requires a good deal of skill, as well. And that skill comes in handy when it comes to the rules and etiquette of the game. These guidelines are intended to make sure that all players are treated fairly and that the game flows smoothly.

Generally, a player may not show their cards to anyone at the table unless it is their turn to act. This includes other players, dealers and floor personnel. Showing a hand when it is not your turn to act may result in a penalty and/or a dead hand. If you have a weak hand but suspect your opponent is bluffing, calling when it is not your turn to act is known as a crying call. In stud, improper mucking (exposing upcards) is a penalty, and may also cause a dead hand.

Most casinos and public cardrooms use chips to mark a player’s wager. Each chip is worth a certain amount of money, depending on its color and design. A white chip is usually worth a minimum ante or bet, a red chip is worth five whites and so on.

Some casinos employ chip runners to bring cash and chips to the poker tables. This can speed up the game and help prevent players from exceeding buy-in limits. However, it can slow down play when the dealer must handle multiple purchases of small denominations of chips. Players should be encouraged to make change between hands whenever possible, and to use their own chips rather than letting the house dealer handle this for them, in order to avoid delays as dealers try to count large amounts of little-used denominations.