Poker is a popular card game that has many variations, and each poker variation has a different set of rules but what remains common is the main objective – to win the pot.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the most popular variant of poker games. You can find it in countries all around the world in casinos to card rooms, online and in home games. Like most variants of poker, the objective of Texas Hold’em is to win pots, where a pot is the sum of money bet by oneself and other players in a hand. A pot is won by player who is able to form the best five-card poker hand, using any combination of Two Hole cards and Five Community Cards.

Texas Hold’em can be played with as little as two players, up to a max of ten players. It is played with 52 card deck without joker. Each player receives two cards, face down. These cards are known as hole cards. Then, dealer hands out five community cards face up. Players can use any five cards to form the combination. The best five-card combination is won the pot.

Game Types

In Limit poker a maximum of 4 bets is allowed during any betting round. This includes a bet, raise, re-raise, and final raise, but in No Limit poker and Pot Limit poker there is no limit to the number of raises that a player can make. In Limit poker Bet as well as Raise is agreed in advance. For example, in a 1/2 Limit game, both Bet and Bet Raise must be equal to 1. Not more or less. In last two rounds Bet and Raise must be equal to 2.

In a play with Pot Limit the maximum value of Bet or Raise shouldn’t exceed the current total amount in the pot. For example: if the total amount in the pot in the middle of the table is 10 the first player to act in the betting round bets 10, the second player could bet a total of 30 – 10 for his portion of the call and raise by 20, the total amount of money in the pot when the action got to him, including his call. There is no cap to the number of raises in Pot-Limit poker games.

In No Limit game there is any bet limit. Every player makes any bet in any betting round. Minimum bet is equal to Big Blind.

Game Stages

The game is divided into four rounds of betting. Initial pot is forming by Blind Bet. The first player who takes place at the table becomes a dealer. The game starts from the position next to the dealer button, a round disk marks would be the dealer. If players take place at the table simultaneously, on tournaments for example, each player receives straight one card face up. In this case the deal begins from the player to the left of the virtual dealer, and that player who receives the card of maximum value first, becomes a dealer. A dealer button moves clockwise from player to player with each round.

Before a game starts, the two players to the left of the dealer make Blind Bets, so-called because they are made before the players have seen any cards. This is called “posting the blinds”. The Blinds ensure that there is some money in the pot to play for at the very start of the game. The player to the left of the dealer posts the Small Blind. The second player to the left of the dealer posts the Big Blind which is equal to the double Small Blind. If player does not have enough chips to make Blind Bet, he stakes everything he has at once. Please see All-In. If there are only two players in the game, Small Blind and Big Blind are posting also. In that case dealer posts Big Blind. After that the first round begins.

Every player receives two cards back up. Each player can see his cards only. The player to the left of the player who posted Big Blind begins a round of betting. This player can:

  • Call – match the amount bet in the big blind,
  • Raise – increase the amount bet, or
  • Fold – surrender his cards and stake in the game.

 

The same action can make each player when it is their turn to bet. When the betting returns to the player who made Big Blind, that player can not to increase the bet – Check – if it is equal to Big Blind (in case if no one player doesn’t Raise). However, if an opponent has raised, Big Blind has three options: he must call, raise or fold. When all bets get equal, the initial pot is formed and the game turns to the next round (Flop).

In this round dealer is facing up three of Community Cards, which players can use to make their five-card hand. These cards are called “Flop”. Player who makes Small Blind begins the betting round. If he flop the cards, the betting round begins from the first player to the left of him who does not flop the cards. When all bets get equal, the game goes to the next round (Turn).

A fourth Community Card is dealt face up on the table. The third round of betting begins. The action starts with the first player still remaining in the hand who is closest to the left of the button.

The fifth and final Community Card is dealt, and the final betting round is beginning. The action again starts with the first player still remaining in the hand who is closest to the left of the button.

When all bets get equal, it is time to show the cards. The last player to bet or raise during the final betting round shows his cards first. If during the last betting round all the remaining players are checking (nobody betting), the first player to the left from dealer who did not discard is to show his cards first. The other players reveal their cards moving clockwise around the table. If player’s current hand is weaker than winning hand shown, he has the option to show or muck his cards. The best five-card hand takes the pot. If two players share an identical hand, the pot is split. Each player may claim the pot in forming of which he took part. Please see All-In.

If the player finishes his chips he may not to fold the cards. The player can go All-In and bet all his chips. In this case the pot is divided into the Main pot and the Side pot. All the next bets are included to the Side pot. If the player which goes All-In did not win, the winner receives all chips (both the Main and Side pots). If the player who goes All-In wins, he receives the Main pot, but the Side pot is passed to the player having the second highest ranking Poker hand. If several players go All-In, the several Side pots can be created. If the player who accepted all All-In bets does not go All-In by himself, but appears to have the highest ranking hand when cards were revealed, he takes the Main pot as well as the all Side pots. If the highest ranking hand has the player who went All-In, he takes the pot or all pots which were created until he went All-In. Every All-In player having highest ranking hand can take only the pot (or pots) in forming of which he took part.

Omaha Poker

Omaha is like Texas Hold’em. Each player receives four cards dealt face down. These cards are also called pocket cards. Like in Texas Hold’em, five cards are dealt face up on the table. The players can make combinations using only two of their four pocket cards and three of five common cards on the table.

The rest of the rules are exactly as per Texas Hold’em.

 

Hand Rankings

Hand_Ranking

In Texas Hold’em poker, players compare five card hands against each other to determine who wins. A player with a Royal Flush has a better hand than a player with a Full House, for example. Below is a list of standard combinations ranked from best to worst.

Five card sequence, from 10 to the Ace in the same suit. A royal flush is a combination of a flush and a straight ending in the Ace high card. So all the cards are of the same suit, consecutive and have the Ace high card.

Any five card sequence in the same suit. A straight flush is a combination of a flush and a straight. So all the cards are of the same suit, and all are consecutive. Ranking between straights is determined by the value of the high end of the straight. A royal flush is a straight flush that has a high card value of an Ace.

All four cards of the same index. Four cards of the same value such as four jacks or four 7’s represent the second strongest poker hand. This hand beats everything except a Straight Flush.

Three of a kind combined with a pair. A full house is a combination of three of a kind and a pair. Meaning all five of your cards are a part of a set of either two or three of the same card value (eg. three 7’s and two Kings). Ties on a full house are broken by the three of a kind, as you cannot have two equal sets of three of a kind in any single deck.

Any five cards of the same suit, but not in sequence. A flush is a hand where all of the cards are the same suit, if each card you have is all one suit, such as 3 of Clubs, 5 of Clubs, 6 of Clubs, 8 of Clubs and King of Clubs, then you have a Flush. Don’t be tricked into thinking that all five cards are the same color. The high card determines the winner if two people have a flush.

Five cards in sequence, but not in the same suit. A straight is a hand where all of the cards are consecutive. There is no continuative quality to this poker hand a straight cannot wrap around meaning it is not a straight if you have a Queen, King, Ace, Two or Three. Standard poker rules state that in the case of more than one straight, the higher straight wins, In case of straights that tie, the pot is split.

Three cards of the same value. Any three cards with the same value (eg. a 6 of Clubs, a 6 of Spades or a 6 of Diamonds) is considered to be three of a kind. The highest set of three cards wins.

Two separate pairs.Two sets of two cards of equal value constitute a hand that has two pairs. As usual the pair with the higher value is used to determine the winner of a tie.

One pair of two equal value cards constitutes a pair.

When the hand you are left with has no pairs, is not a straight or a flush then it’s relative value is determined by the highest value card. When two players have no pairs, straight, or flush the winner of the tie is determined by the highest value card in the hand. If the highest cards are a tie then the tie is broken by the second highest card. Suits are not used to break ties.

Content Courtesy: The Spartan Poker

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