Whether you play poker in a home game, a casino or an official tournament, you have to adhere to a set of rules. Like most other games and sports, poker has an organization that manages the rules. The Professional Tournament Directors Association (also known as the Poker TDA) is an international organization that was formed in 2001 and today has more than 2,500 members in 63 countries. Its goal is to standardize and govern the rules of poker.

The first rule is that every player must be at his or her seat when the cards are dealt on the initial deal. A player who is out of his or her seat at the time will have a dead hand. The dealer must be “at their seat” as well to make sure they receive their cards.

Each round of betting in a poker game is divided into several so-called betting intervals. During each of these intervals players have the choice to check, call another player’s bet or raise it (or re-raise). Eventually all players must either match the highest bet of a player or fold their hand. Depending on the type of poker, some rules may require that all players place an initial contribution, called the ante, into the pot before the betting starts.

In most casino poker rooms, and in some home games, players must use special chips to mark their stakes. This makes it easy for the casino to keep track of a player’s total buy-in. In addition, a player must not remove his or her chip from the table.