Poker is a card game that can be played in casual settings for pennies or even matchsticks, as well as professionally for thousands of dollars. Regardless of whether you play the game for fun or for a living, understanding official poker rules will make your gaming experience more enjoyable for you and everyone else at your table.

While luck plays a major role in any poker game, the best players have the greatest skill and can consistently win. However, poker is also a mentally intensive game and it is important to protect your health by only playing when you are in the mood for it. If you feel frustration, fatigue, anger or any other negative emotion building up, it is best to step away from the table and take a break.

In poker, a player’s turn to act in a betting round begins when they either call the highest previous bet made by another player or fold their hand. When a player makes a bet they must place the amount of chips that they wish to wager into the pot. However, there are situations where exceptions to this rule may be necessary.

In poker, a straddle is a bet placed by the player first to act before the dealer deals any cards (known as the “under the gun” straddle). These bets encourage action and help keep the game interesting but from a theoretical point of view they have a negative expected value.