The Rules of Poker


In the game of poker, players play with hands, which are turned face up after the final betting round. The hands reach the showdown if there are callers in the last round of betting or if someone has gone all-in prior to the final betting round. A side pot is created from additional bets made by the remaining players. The side pot may contain many players, but the player who goes all-in is only eligible to win the pot to which he has contributed.


The professional Tournament Directors Association, or Poker TDA, is responsible for the rules of poker. It was formed by poker players Matt Savage, Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher, and David Lamb. Today, the association includes more than 2,500 members in 63 countries. The organization holds a summit every two years, during which the rules are reviewed. Among the TDA’s board members is WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel. In addition, the organization has its own web site where players can learn more about poker.

Hand rankings

One of the most important rules of poker is knowing hand rankings. It is vital to understand which poker hand is better in the game in order to make the best decisions. Knowing poker hand rankings is important for all players, including beginners. Knowing these hands will improve your game and help you earn more money. However, memorizing them is not a necessity. Understanding poker hand rankings will allow you to choose the best cards to play and maximize your winnings.

Betting intervals

The length of betting intervals in poker games varies from game to game. Each round of betting begins with the first player placing a bet. As each player raises his or her bet, those to his or her left must raise their bets proportionately to the bet of the player before them. When no one is left to act, the game ends. In the first round, the player must place a minimum bet, but may raise or check later on.

Identifying conservative players from aggressive players

One of the most important aspects of playing poker is identifying aggressive and conservative players. While you may not know which type of player to bet against, recognizing the differences between the two types can help you make better decisions. While it’s impossible to tell what kind of hand each player holds without a look at their physical appearance, there are some ways to tell the difference. To start, conservative players tend to wear clean, pressed shirts and maintain perfectly groomed hair. Also, conservative players will often raise their bets only when they have a good hand, while aggressive players will frequently bet big early in the game.

Showdowns in poker

Poker showdowns occur when a player wins a pot and must reveal all of his cards. Players who lose showdowns can muck their cards and not show them, but inexperienced poker players should reveal their cards and let the dealer determine the best poker hand. Showdowns are the most important part of the poker game, so be sure to play your cards carefully. Here are some of the different ways to play showdowns: