Small Banner EnThe first publication from IFP Books – The Rules of Poker – was given its official launch on Friday evening, marked by an evening of cocktails, canapés and poker at The Club at the Ivy in central London.

The International Federation of Poker, the game’s global governing body, joined forces with independent publisher Limehouse Books in 2011 to produce the volume which is set to become the ultimate authoritative source of reference and dispute resolution.

Members of the press and wider poker community raised a glass to the new book, which was compiled by the IFP’s Rules Committee whose chairman, the novelist and poker player David Flusfeder, is its editor.

Poker’s rules have evolved ever since it was introduced to the United States in the early 19th Century. With no central governing body, house rules developed which, although broadly similar in many respects, often contained critical differences.

According to Anthony Holden, President of the International Federation of Poker, publishing an officially endorsed rulebook is designed to eliminate any remaining local variations in rules, creating a unity in the sport worldwide.

“One of the key roles of any sports governing body is to establish clear and consistent rules which apply throughout the world,” said Holden. “It would clearly be absurd if the rules of football or tennis differed from country to country and poker is no different.

“It is a sign of the growing maturity and popularity of poker that we have taken this step.”

In his preface to the book, Holden adds: “But this book is designed to cover far more than merely tournament poker. It is the perfect volume to keep on hand in poker clubs and at kitchen-table home games the world over.”

The handsome volume contains sections on all the major variants of poker, as well as disputes refereed by the Hendon Mob’s feature “You are the Tournament Director”.

Bobby Nayyar, CEO of Limehouse Books said: “The Rules of Poker fills a decisive gap in the market as there are currently no other books for poker in print that cover tournament, cash play and the numerous variants of the game as well as combining and standardising rules from the major tournaments including the World Series and European Poker Tour.”

The Rules of Poker, edited by David Flusfeder with a preface by Anthony Holden is published by IFP Books in hardback, priced £12.99.