Rules According to Holye

If you have played poker in a serious setting, such as a tournament or high stakes game, then you have most likely heard the phrase "poker rules according to Hoyle." However, few poker players really know the truth about Hoyle-who was he and what does he have to do with the rules of poker?

Edmond Hoyle was a 17th century gaming expert and authority on popular games including whist, backgammon and chess. He is known as the first person to record the rules of these games in his books Short Treatise on the Game of Whist in 1742 and Hoyle's Games in 1746. Though his books did not include modern day poker rules, Hoyle's name has become synonymous with gaming standards. Therefore, when people refer to poker rules according to Hoyle they simply mean standard poker rules. Modern publishers often borrow Hoyle's name to give authority to their books, such as Hoyle's Rules of Games, Hoyle's Modern Encyclopedia of Card Games and According to Hoyle. Many people believe that Hoyle is still alive, breathing and writing books on the official rules of gaming.

Hoyle's poker rules do not only include the basic rules of the game. They are also made up of a glossary of all the poker terms, rules of the different variations up to standard and even an overview of poker etiquette, as etiquette was an important conversation in Hoyle's 17th century books.

Whether you are playing in a live casino or poker room, Internet poker game, tournament or Friday night poker game with friends, Hoyle's rules are generally the standard, official rules in poker games around the world.

Hoyle's rules set the standard for hand rankings, betting language and etiquette, the succession of rounds in each game and basically every element of the game. Across the board, Hoyle ranks poker hands for all variations of the game. Poker hands are ranked as follows, from highest to lowest: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four-of-a-Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three-of-a-Kind, Two Pair, Pair and finally, High Card.

Hoyle's Rules also lay out the way poker betting rounds are organized. Of course, the number of rounds and what occurs during them differs from hand to hand. For instance, Texas Hold'em is divided into the posting of blinds, The Opening, The Flop, The Turn, The River and The Showdown. During betting rounds in poker, players have the option to call, matching the previous bet; fold, leaving the game; or raise, placing a bet larger than the last. Specific etiquette is outlined, such as not requiring winners to show their hand to their opponents at the end of the round and not badgering opponents about their hand or rushing them in their decision to fold, call or raise.

The next time you hear someone mention Edmond Hoyle or his rules you'll know that Hoyle isn't actually the living, breathing authority on poker. However, his name has been used as a symbol of the most up-to-date, correct and standard poker rules around.