When playing poker, all players are expected to follow the rules of the game they are playing. These rules are designed to ensure the integrity of the game and prevent cheating, collusion, or other forms of misconduct. The following are some important rules that should be followed:
Any player who wants to play poker must be seated at a table and sign in before they can begin betting or raising. Generally speaking, new players are seated in the available seats, but management may reserve specific seats for special circumstances such as helping a player read the board or ensuring an accessible seat for someone with physical limitations.
If a player misses the blind, they are required to make up that amount before playing their hand. This is called passing the buck, and it likely originated in the frontier days when a player would use a knife with a buckthorn handle to pass on their dealing duties if they were unwilling to deal.
Players must show their cards in a timely fashion in order to speed up the game. When a player holds a hand that is likely the winner, they should show it without delay to assist in determining the pot winner. Similarly, players in side pots are encouraged to help speed up the process by showing their cards before players who are only involved in the main pot.
Any player, dealer, or floorperson who sees an error in the awarding of a pot has an ethical obligation to point out the mistake. It is also acceptable to ask to see a winning player’s mucked cards, but abuse of this privilege can result in the hand being declared dead.