When you play poker in a tournament, your chips represent an amount of money or value that is shared among all the players competing for the same prize (called the pot). The amount of money or chip value that each player contributes to the pot is based on the quality of their hand and their prediction of what the opponents might do. Some games require players to “buy-in” for a set amount of chips, and the remainder is awarded in accordance with the player’s finishing place. Other games allow players to “chop” the remaining prize pool.
There are many variants of poker, but the game is most commonly associated with Texas hold ’em, which became popular in the 2000s and replaced seven-card stud as the most common form played in the United States. This form of the game is featured in the televised World Series of Poker and other major tournaments.
Rules vary widely between cardrooms and between poker games of different types, and new players often find the rules confusing. The purpose of this rulebook is to provide a common set of rules that will be accepted by all cardrooms. The rulebook is based on existing poker rules that have been used by many cardrooms and may contain some rules that are not found in any other official set of rules.
The rules in this rulebook should be followed to avoid confusion and to ensure fair play for all players. It is important that you know and understand the rules before you participate in any poker tournament.
A dealer’s pushing the button or level change must be done expeditiously so as not to cause undue delay in the game. In addition, dealers should be attentive to players and avoid accidentally allowing time to expire in critical situations. Players should have racks for chip transport and enough color-ups to ensure that they are not carrying unusually large amounts of chips.
If a player is at his seat when the action returns, he must be able to reach his chips without disturbing his fellow players. If he can’t, the dealer must kill the hand.
Any player, dealer, or floorperson who sees an error about to be made in awarding a pot has an ethical obligation to point out the mistake. This will help keep mistakes to a minimum and prevent cheating.
All players must protect their cards at all times. This is done by placing a chip or other object on top of them. If a player fails to do this, their hand will be dead and they will be penalized.