Official poker is the form of poker played in tournaments, casinos, and other gambling environments. The game uses chips that represent money (or a player’s stake in the tournament) and has rules governing the betting intervals and the order of players’ turns to act. Some poker games also involve “raking,” in which the house takes a small percentage of each pot.
Unlike the casino table games of poker, which are played for fun, in tournaments a player’s place is determined by his or her buy-in and the amount of chips won during the event. Generally, a tournament organizer charges an hourly rental fee for playing space and a percentage of the total pot awarded to each player. In addition, most events use a special button or disc to mark the nominal dealer for betting purposes.
Texas hold’em (also known as simply “hold ’em”) is one of the most popular forms of poker, and it has become especially associated with tournament play since its surge in popularity in the 2000s due to exposure on television and in popular literature. It has replaced seven-card stud as the most common form of poker in casinos and in tournaments such as the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Players are expected to protect their cards by placing them in a way that prevents other players from seeing them or touching them. In addition, a hand is not to be exposed until all players involved in the hand have made their decision to call or raise the bet or have folded.