A good poker game requires a strong understanding of the rules and a willingness to abide by them. However, as poker becomes an international game it can be difficult to adapt to the different rules and customs of each place you play, resulting in misunderstandings and disputes. One way to avoid this is for the major cardrooms to agree on a set of standard rules that can be used worldwide. This has been done by the Tournament Directors Association (TDA), which publishes a set of rules that are freely downloadable and accepted in most major casinos and poker tournaments.

The basic rulebook contains 81 rules, divided into categories such as “action” and “rules of decorum.” A general philosophy is to make the rules sufficiently detailed that a decision-maker will know what the proper ruling in each situation should be. The TDA rules do this well. This is important because a ruling that does not produce the correct result could create confusion or misunderstandings and thus damage the game.

Some of the rules in this rulebook are designed to prevent such misunderstandings by setting clear standards of behavior at a poker table. They cover everything from what a player can do with his cards to how much he can wager on a hand. In addition, there are rules governing how players must display their cards and whether or not they can use the backs of the cards to protect them.

For example, a rule states that the cards must be displayed above table-level and not covered by anything such as hands or other chips. This allows other players to see the cards in their hands and ensures that they are not hiding anything from other players. A player may also choose to use their cards in a way that protects them, such as putting them between two pieces of cardboard.

Another important rule is that a player must not reveal information about his hand before the end of the poker hand. This is to prevent cheating by giving other players information that they might not have known about his hand. The rules also state that a player may not talk or argue with the dealer during a hand and that players should be courteous and respect other players at the table.

The rules also contain many examples of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, such as touching or tearing a card or shouting at other players. In addition, the rules prohibit collusion with other players and destroying property such as throwing or crumpling cards.

The rules also describe the procedure for a player to make a ruling when he believes his opponent has broken a rule. In most cases, a floor person or supervisor will make the ruling, but some situations require a higher level of authority such as the tournament director. The rules also specify that a player cannot act out of turn, and this includes using a cell phone at the table during a WFP finals event or making illegible signatures on the TOURNAMENT SIGN-IN sheet.