International Poker Rules

Poker Rules

A lite version of the International Poker Rules is published on this page. Rules 42 to 47 are visible known as the “lite rules”. The total set consist 79 different rules. You can download the full version through the International Poker Rules app.


  • AT” your seat is defined as being within reach or touch of your chair. (In case of doubt, Management’s decision is final).
  • IN” your seat is defined as being seated in your chair, with the exception of allowing a player to temporarily stand
  • A player must be “AT” his or her seat when the dealer delivers the first card off the deck in order to have a live hand.
    A player must be “IN” their seat by the time the last card is dealt, which completes the initial deal. (When the last card is dealt to the player with the ‘dealer button,’ it defines the completion of the initial deal).
    A player NOT “IN” their seat will have a “dead hand.”
    • In Board playing/Flop games, a player must be “AT” their seat when the dealer delivers the first card off the deck in order to have a live hand.
    • In Seven-card and Razz type games, a player must be “IN” their seat by the time the last player receives their final UP card, which defines the completion of the initial deal.
  • Dealers are instructed to muck the hands of players not ‘IN’ or ‘AT’ his or her seat immediately after the final card is dealt to the button, or in Stud Games, the final up card is dealt on third street.
  • A player must remain “IN” his/her seat until their action has been completed.
    A player LEAVING their seat before completing their action will be considered to have intentionally folded out of turn and will receive a penalty.
    Dealers will be responsible to notify a Floor Person and/or the Tournament Director of any player with a live hand who intentionally leaves their seat prior to completing their action.
    Repeated infractions are subject to escalating penalties.
  • Players who have completed their action and are awaiting an opponent(s) action will not have to remain “IN” their seat, but must remain “AT” the seat. (Venue’s policy will apply in situations, which involve filming, televised events or other exceptions).


  • The surface area of a table outside the “betting line” is considered the “safe zone.”
  • Cards and chips placed in the “safe zone” are to be a player’s personal responsibility.
  • Dealers will NOT take cards from the “safe zone” when a player is involved in a hand or present at the table.
  • Dealers should not count any chips in the “safe zone”, unless the chips are part of a current bet.
  • Players are not allowed to touch cards or chips placed in other players’ safe zones, and if requested by a player the dealer will ask permission from the player to do so first.
    Players may reject this request. In the event that a player repeatedly slows down the game the player could receive an etiquette penalty.
  • A player’s safe zone is designated as the space directly in front of him/her on the table.
    This is the area a player should place his/her cards and chips.
  • Management should provide enough seating space for each player within the dynamics of the event, with a maximum seating of 10 players at each table for any International event.


  • A “betting line” is defined as the line that shows players and dealers very clearly the working space of the dealer and the personal space of the player.
    Dealers have the inside of the betting line known as the field to work with, and no player is allowed to interfere in that space.
    The dealer will collect Antes, bets, place the board cards (flop-turn-river), as well as the mucked cards pile.
    The dealer will control all action inside the betting line at all times.
  • For a bet to stand without verbal declaration, chips must cross the betting line in one motion and touch the surface.
  • Should a player facing a bet pick up his stack and forward motion across the line and drop an amount of chips not amounting to the whole amount in the hand, only the chip(s) dropped in one motion will stand whether it be a calling or raising amount. In case the dealer feels the player is doing this to gain knowledge the floor must be called, etiquette warnings/penalties could be awarded in such cases.
  • If an amount of chips cross the line and touch the surface as a whole, the whole amount must stand even if the intention was to cut off a bet and take some back.
  • In the event a player makes a forward motion with chips (off the felt) across the line and not complete his action by releasing, the floor staff will consider penalizing the player with etiquette penalties for abusing the rule to pick up additional knowledge.
  • Cards released in a forward motion, inside and over the “betting line” face down will be considered a
    folded hand,” unless the player is in a “showdown” situation with an “all in” player.
    Then these cards should be tabled. This is NOT optional.
  • Cards placed outside the “betting line,” in the “safe zone,” will be considered a live hand. When a player is seated,
    the dealer will not take cards from outside the “betting line”(Named the “safe zone”).
  • A “betting line” is considered a courtesy line and provides a defined area of action. Management is strongly encouraged to use betting line rules on events that have betting lines on their tables.
  • Management is obligated to provide ALL tables with a betting line, in order to meet the standards required by International Poker Rules and of events run with I P Rules. Management should avoid using a mix of tables with and without betting lines. Consistency is the objective, creating an environment of fairness for ALL players.


  • It is the player’s responsibility to protect their hand while awaiting an opponent’s pending action, or during the hand in motion.
  • A player must remain in their seat until their action in the hand has been fully completed.
    A player should wait for the completion of the hand before leaving his/her seat if they are still in the hand.
    On occasion, special circumstances may allow players to move away from their seats (i.e. poker shows, televised events etc…).
  • Any player with a live hand that can still act must remain at the table while awaiting an opponent’s pending
  • Any player still in the game is expected to stay at the table during play in action at all times; any player who disrespects this rule will be subject to an official warning, with the potential for escalating penalties to be imposed for repeat offences.
  • Substantial Action: being defined as either:
    • any two actions in turn, at least one of which must involve putting chips in the pot (i.e. any 2 actions except 2 checks or 2 folds); or
    • any combination of three actions in turn (check, bet, raise, call, or fold);
    • or any player who fails to complete action before a flop is exposed.
  • In this situation the dealer had time to collect three or more bets, tap the table before then burning and producing a flop, in this period of time the player saw the dealer do so much he had plenty of opportunity to alert the dealer that he hadn’t acted. In this case his action will be taken as a forced check or have their hand killed.
  • Should the above actions take place out of turn a players hand will be deemed as dead.
  • Players are responsible for tracking table action to avoid order of action issues.
  • Allowances will be made if the Tournament Director or floor person have of the opinion that action was so quick that the player had no chance to react and rule in fairness of the game.


  • Players are entitled to be informed of the “pot size” ONLY in pot-limit games.
  • Dealers will not count or inform players of the “pot size” in limit and no-limit games.
  • Players shall allow the dealer to accurately count the chips without interfering.
  • Players are responsible to visually verify the “pot size” amount before calling or raising.
  • If an error occurs regarding an incorrect pot size amount, the calling player will still be obligated to the actual pot size amount, and will be held responsible to correct the amount.
  • If requested, dealers may spread the pot so that a player may count it.
  • The verbal announcement of “I bet the pot” or “I raise the pot” in no-limit games is not a binding raise amount, but can be judged to be so by Management in unclear situations; the player causing this dispute may be subject to a penalty according to Rule 7.2.
    Dealers should request the player to announce a valid bet or raise amount.
  • The dealers are instructed to verify the players verbal declarations, and to announce any action that contributes to the flow of the game.
    They are not obligated to provide the amount of the bet, raise or all-in, unless requested by other players still live in the hand.
  • Dealers are not allowed to provide any player information, such as who raised pre flop, etc…


    • A “declaration of action” may be an obvious physical motion or verbal statement: a fold, check, bet, call, raise, re-raise or “all-in.”
    • Players are strongly encouraged to verbally declare their action IN TURN.
    • A player is responsible for clearly stating their action in turn, and must act in turn.
      Verbal declarations must be clearly announced in turn, and will be binding.
      Chips placed in the pot in turn must stay in the pot.
    • A “declaration of action” IN TURN will be binding; the player will be forced to take the declared action.
      A “declaration of action” OUT OF TURN will only be binding if the action to that player has not changed. An action out of turn can be verbal or it can be that the player puts his chips over the betting line.
    • A check, call, or fold is not considered action changing.
    • A player intentionally acting out of turn will receive a penalty.
      The penalty may be waived if the dealer misled the player, if the interim player had his/her chips concealed appearing to be “all-in”, or if the interim player had their cards concealed appearing not to have a live hand.
    • Players are strongly encouraged to use the OFFICIAL TERMINOLOGY OF TOURNAMENT POKER:
      Official terms are simple, unmistakable, time-honored declarations like: bet, raise, call, fold, check, all-in, pot (in Pot limit only), and complete.
      Regional terms may also meet this standard.
    • The use of non-standard language is at a player’s own risk because it may result in a ruling other than what the player intended.
      It is the responsibility of players to make their intentions clear to the dealer at all times before their actual physical action.

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