Official poker is the game of poker played under a written code of rules. The rules set forth here do not supplant local customs, but are intended to ensure fair play and speedy game play. They are especially important to follow in casinos and other venues with regulated games.

Whether it’s a break for the bathroom, smoke or food, interruptions to the game are frowned upon. Leaving the table in the middle of a hand is also unacceptable, and you should only join a hand when you have the time and attention to give it your full attention.

If a player has to leave the table for a brief period, the dealer should pause the betting and then return to dealing cards. The player should bet as soon as he or she is able to continue.

A player can ask to see a losing opponent’s hand even if it has been mucked, although this privilege can be revoked if it is abused. Nevertheless, this is one of the best ways to gain valuable insight into the opponent’s strategy and improve your own.

Winning poker is more than just about luck and skill. It also requires mental toughness. Watch videos of Phil Ivey and other top pros and notice how they never get too excited about a win or down after a loss. This isn’t a cliche; it’s the secret of the world’s best players.