Official poker is a family of card games that compete over which hand is best according to specific rules. These vary from game to game, including the number of cards dealt and the order of play.


In a poker tournament, players pay an entry fee and a “buy-in” to be seated at the table with chips that represent their stake. The winner of the tournament is awarded all of the chips in play and the first-place prize. The remaining chips are then distributed to the remaining players in proportion to their place in the tournament.

Usually, the players sit in a clockwise pattern around the table, with each player having the option to fold, call, or raise. The cards are dealt one at a time and the right to deal is marked by a token called a dealer button (or buck), which rotates among players.

Home games

If you plan to run a poker tournament at your bar or restaurant, consider making use of a cheap computer-based program that will display the current stack and payout structures in real time. This software is available at most online gambling sites and can be easily set up to provide all the information needed for your players.

The rules for a poker tournament should be printed on a standardised set of cards before the start of the game. This will ensure that if there is any dispute, you have an official set of guidelines to refer to. It also will appease any concerns that players may have about favouritism.