Poker rules are published by the professional Tournament Directors Association (TDA). Founded in 2001 by poker players Matt Savage, Linda Johnson, and David Lamb, the TDA has more than 2,500 members in 63 countries. Its members include the managers of live poker rooms, circuits, and independent tournaments. Among the TDA’s leaders is WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel.
Poker rules vary by game. For example, Omaha and hold’em games have small and big blinds. Some games, like stud games, have no blinds or use an “ante” or “stakes” to start the hand. A free poker guide such as What Beats What in Poker can teach you the basics and help you win.
Regardless of the game, poker etiquette dictates that players must treat each other politely. This is especially important at the poker table, as you will likely spend several hours with the same people. If you are polite to your opponents, you will be more likely to be rewarded with a higher hand.
The first betting round is started by the player to the left of the big blind. He or she may fold, call, or raise the highest bet. Then, the betting continues clockwise. When a player is dealt a hole card, they may either call it or raise it.